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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 25 September, 2018

Meet Ireland's Olympic team: Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe

The Thomastown native will be taking part in the Modern Pentathlon.

Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe pictured in action at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Event: Modern Pentathlon.

Who is he? O’Keeffe is the current European champion  in his sport which encompasses running, shooting, fencing, swimming and horse riding.

Where’s he from? The 24 year-old is a Cat, he hails from Thomastown in Kilkenny.

Olympic CV: This will be his second appearance at the Games. Lanigan-O’Keeffe only found out he was competing at London 2012 a month beforehand after one of the Polish qualifiers had failed a drugs test. He received a call from his coach when he was on holidays in Greece, enquiring about his interest in competing.

Road To Rio: Winning the gold medal in Bath last August saw Lanigan-O’Keeffe crowned European Champion and ensure he would be travelling to Brazil. He finished that event on 1,487 points, 11 clear of France’s Valentin Prades.

When does he start? The competition takes place on a single day, the final day at the Olympics, on 20 August.

Where can I follow him? Check him out on Twitter @ArthurLOK1 or on Instagram at arthur_lok1.

Tweet by @Arthur LOK Source: Arthur LOK/Twitter

What he says: “Success for me would be to hit all my targets and all my personal bests. If I do that and I come fourth there’s nothing else I could have done but I think if I do that I most likely will win a medal. The goal will be winning. I’m going there now to do a job and hopefully that job is getting that medal.”

(The42, July 2016)

Medal chances? He’s one of Ireland’s hottest medal prospects after his European success in 2015 and will be hoping the experience of London four years ago will prove hugely beneficial.

And here’s something you probably didn’t know… Back in March, Lanigan-O’Keeffe was asked to leave an Aer Lingus flight due to his fencing equipment.

“It’s always a challenge bringing guns and swords through airports,” he remarked to RTÉ in April. “But luckily now we have a system that usually works and the guns don’t have live ammunition any more, they’re laser, so normally after a bit of chatting it’s grand.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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