It has been a busy fortnight on the Olympic Qualification front for Team Ireland athletes and with the launch of team sponsor FBD’s new campaign…
As part of its partnership with Team Ireland, FBD has launched a new “Sound Support” campaign.
In partnership with Jape (Richie Egan) and Team Ireland sports psychologist Jessie Barr, FBD created bespoke tracks for Kellie Harrington, Nhat Nguyen and Chloe Watkins. The tracks also feature snippets of recordings from some of their final training sessions as they prepare to take on the best in the world in Tokyo from July 23rd to 8th August and messages of encouragement from friends and family.
The tracks are available to listen to on the “FBD Sound Support” playlist on Spotify.
Team Ireland has officially selected seven athletes to compete across the Marathon and 50km Race Walk events in Sapporo at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. An experienced team of five marathon runners and two 50km race walkers will compete across four days in Sapporo from 5 – 8 August.
In the Marathon, Fionnuala McCormack is heading into her fourth Olympic Games, she first became an Olympian in Beijing in 2008. She is joined by Aoife Cooke in the Women’s Marathon, and Paul Pollock, Kevin Seaward and Stephen Scullion will compete in the Men’s Marathon. Brendan Boyce is approaching his third Games, and was the first Irish athlete across all sports to achieve an Olympic qualification time, he will compete in the Men’s 50km Race Walk alongside Rio Olympian Alex Wright.
Nhat Nguyen has been officially selected to represent Team Ireland in the Badminton Men’s Singles at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Nguyen, who turns 21 years of age today, will be one of the youngest members of Team Ireland and has consistently performed throughout the qualification period to book his spot by finishing 26th in the final rankings, with 44 athletes competing in the event. The Badminton events take place in the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, with the Men’s Singles occurring from the 24 July to the finals on the 2 August 2021.
While this is Nguyen’s first Olympic Games, the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship holder competed strongly in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018, soon after he won a bronze medal in the European Junior Championships in 2018. In 2019 he made a smooth transition into the senior ranks, competing in the European Games in Minsk in 2019.
Team Ireland has officially selected the track cycling team that will compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Four athletes and two reserve riders have been named to compete in the Madison and Omnium for men and women. The team will compete in the Izu Velodrome from the 5 – 8 August.
The Madison is a fast-moving endurance track relay event, that involves two-rider teams taking turns to compete over 30km (women) 50km (men), with points awarded at different intervals. The resting rider has to touch the racing rider when changing over, via a hand-sling or a push. The Omnium is a multiple-race event, with four races being held in one day, where riders are awarded points for their finishing position which are totalled at the end to find their ranking.
In the Women’s Madison, Rio Olympian Shannon McCurley will be joined by Emily Kay, with Kay also competing in the Omnium. McCurley has been no stranger to international success for Team Ireland, winning silver in the Scratch Race at the European Championships in 2019. She became Ireland’s first track cycling Olympian in 2016, competing in the Keirin, a sprint event, before switching her focus to endurance-based track events. Kay is an exciting relatively new Team Ireland member, who has been performing extremely strongly on the world stage in the Omnium in particular, including a podium finish at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Canada in 2020, where she won bronze. Lydia Gurley will be travelling as the reserve cyclist for the team.
The Men’s Madison will be Mark Downey and Felix English, an exciting pairing who have already spent a stint in this Olympiad ranked number one. One of the two will also compete in the Omnium, this will be decided closer to the Games. Downey hails from a family steeped in cycling, his father Seamus also competed in the Olympics for cycling – at the LA Games in 1984. English has been a regular feature on Team Ireland squads over the past ten years, and together with Downey secured the final Tokyo qualification berth at the World Championships last year, in a drama-filled 200 lap race. Fintan Ryan will be travelling as the reserve cyclist for the team.
Congratulations to Kellie Harrington, Emmet Brennan, Aidan Walsh, Michaela Walsh and Aoife O’Rourke who all secured their place on the plane to Tokyo with wins at the final European Qualifiers in Paris. Boxing right back where it has been as one of Ireland’s leading Olympic sports.
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