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Meet Ireland's Olympic team: Finn Lynch

The Carlow Laser sailor will be the youngest Irish helmsman ever to compete at the Olympics.

Team Ireland Members Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Event: Men’s Laser sailing.

Who is he? Ireland’s sole representative in the Laser class at Rio 2016. He has won medals at various levels while rising through the ranks, including a silver at the ISAF Youth World Championships in 2012. Lynch had been earmarked for Tokyo 2020, but thanks to his rapid progress, he’ll make his Olympic bow four years earlier instead.

Where’s he from? The former Carlow CBS student is a native of Bennekerry in Carlow. He sails for the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire.

Olympic CV: Rio 2016 will mark the 20-year-old’s first appearance at the Olympics. In doing so, he’ll be the youngest Irish helmsman ever to compete at the Games.

Road to Rio: Lynch made the grade via the World Championships in Mexico back in May, when he was still a week shy of his 20th birthday. He surprised selectors to secure the Irish nomination for Rio by finishing 54th overall and seeing off competition from Belfast native and London 2012 veteran James Espey, as well as Baltimore’s Fionn Lyden. The result automatically moved Lynch from ISA Development sailor to full senior Providence Team Ireland status.

When does he start? Lynch will officially become an Olympian when he takes to the Marina da Gloria on Tuesday, 9 August.

Where can I follow him? You can find Finn on Facebook and also on Instagram (@FinnLynch123).

On top of the world #ontopofrio #olympics #restday #sugarloaf

A post shared by finn lynch (@finnlynchsailing) on

What he says: “The last few months have been very exciting but mostly a very stressful time. My campaign has been a little bit crazy with lots of injuries but most of all lots of hard work. The Olympics was always a dream of mine.” (Facebook, May 2016)

Medal chances? It’s probably a bit soon for Lynch to be in medal contention in Rio, but at 20 years of age, he should have plenty of opportunities to challenge beyond 2016. After all, his aim in the next 10 years is to be “a professional sailor with an Olympic medal”.

Two out of five on our scientifically-developed, patented Jerry Kiernan scale…

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And here’s something you probably didn’t know… Even though he’s been sailing since the age of eight, the first race Lynch ever won was the prestigious egg and spoon race at the Bennekerry Field Day. He also used to tog out for Palatine GAA club.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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