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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Olympic Breakfast: Team Ireland dream of a medal by midday

Aileen Morrison is the first Irish hopeful up before track and field action at Olympic Park takes centre stage.

Aileen Morrison has placed second twice in the ITU World Series.
Aileen Morrison has placed second twice in the ITU World Series.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

EVERY MORNING, WE bring you all of the info you need to make sure you don’t miss a second of Olympic gold.

Day eight is another busy one of Irish Olympians and supporters. Aileen Morrison gets us started in the Women’s Triathlon, Cian O’Connor makes his London 2012 bow in the Show Jumping and Joanne Cuddihy will compete in the Women’s 400m.

Down on the South West coast, at Weymouth, Annalise Murphy leads the charge for Team Ireland’s sailors.

The first medals were handed out at Olympic Park yesterday evening but many more will adorn necks on Saturday. Finals of the 20km Walk, Men’s Long Jump, Men’s 10,000m and Women’s 100m and Women’s Discus Throw are all scheduled.

Top of the bill


Mo Farah, Somalian born but a proud member of Team GB, goes up against a living legend in the world of middle-distance running. World Silver Medallist in 2011, Farah will be up against it as he takes on Ehiopa’s Kenenisa Bekele in the Men’s 10,000m at 9.15pm. He will have the majority of the 80,000 crowd at Olympic Park cheering for him but Bekele, the reigning Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion, likes a challenge.


All good things must come to an end and, apart from the men and women’s 10km marathons, the swimming winds up at the Aquatics Centre tonight. Before the swimmers pack their trunks into their trunks, there are four gold medals to be won. The Women’s 50m Freestyle is first off at 7.30pm with Marleen Veldhuis and Ranomi Kromowidjojo representing great medal chances for The Netherlands. Next up at 7.36pm is the Men’s 1,500m Freestyle with Yang Sun of China posting the quickest semi-final time by some distance. Missy Franklin, in the Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay (8.07pm) and Michael Phelps, in the Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay (8.27pm), have final chances to add to their medal hauls.


The men’s quarter-finals will be settled by the time the sun has set in Great Britain. First up is Japan v Eygpt (12pm), followed by Mexico v Senegal (2.30pm). Brazil will be confident of advancing against Honduras (5pm) and Team GB, led by Ryan Giggs, will look to meet them in the last four by defeating South Korea (7.30pm). The Millennium Stadium in Wales will play host to Stuart Pearce and his gradually gelling side.

Who’s flying the flag?


Paddy Barnes is Ireland’s sole representative in the ring at the ExCel Arena. He takes on Thomas Essomba of Cameroon at 2pm. Essomba beat Abdelali Darra of Morocco 13-10 in the last round to set up a bout with the Belfast light-flyweight. Barnes, bronze medallist at Beijing 2008, will be hoping to negotiate his rangy opponent and get another fight closer to the medal shake-up.


Aileen Morrison goes into the final of the Women’s Triathlon at 9am and will be hoping to stay with the leaders after swimming section. If she can do so, the Derry native is in with a medal shout as her cycling is particularly strong and her running times have been improving all season. She has already secured two second place finishes in the ITU World Series. Morrison faces stiff competition from the likes of Nicola Spirig and Helen Jenkins of Team GB.


Stephanie O’Reilly is competing in the heats of the Steeplechase at 11.35am. Tori Pena poles her first vault for Ireland in the first round of the qualifiers, which also start from 10am. Rob Heffernan and Brendan Boyce compete in the final of the 20km Walk from 5pm. Joanne Cuddihy caught a break when her decent heat time in the 400m proved to be more than enough to qualify for the semi-final, thanks in part to a downpour. The semis get going at 6.50pm.


Annalise Murphy is doing a storming job of it so far in the Laser Radial and she goes off again at 12.05pm (Race 9) and 1.20pm (Race 10).

The Rathfarnham sailing star had another good day on the water yesterday and will be hoping to consolidate a solid showing to date.

James Espey, in the Laser, sets off around the same time (midday) out at the Weymouth and Portland course. His second outing (Race 10) is at 1.15pm. The 470 duo of Ger Owens and Scott Flanagan are in action twice – 2pm (Race 5) and 3.15pm (Race 6).


Billy Twomey and Cian O’Connor both go in the Individual Show Jumping, starting at 10.30am. All eyes will be on O’Connor as he sets off on a road of redemption following the medal-forfeiting controversy from Athens 2004. The final is not until 8 August both both men, from a personal and team perspective, will be looking to get off to a good start.

Cycling – Track

Martyn Irvine goes in the Men’s Omnium at the Velodrome this morning. The first rider, Walter Fernando Perez, gets going around 10.30am and Irvine is scheduled to set off seventh. The 27-year-old from Newtonards spoke about his medal chances to in May. He said:

Podium is in my head, that’s where I see myself standing. Four-tenths of a second separates 10 guys in the Omnium. You obviously need a twist of luck but I know that if it all goes my way, I’ve all the tools to do it.

Do not miss…

The Men’s Long Jump Final will take place at 9.15pm. Irving Saladino, the 2008 winner, is out already after red-flagging three times in the qualifying heats to get disqualified. Sergey Morgunov of Russia has the joint-honour of longest season’s best – he jumped 8.45m earlier this year. He shares the accolade with Greg Rutherford of Team GB.

The Jamaicans, led home by gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, finished an amazing 1-2-3 at Beijing 2008. Could history repeat itself in the Women’s 100m Final? The race goes to the gun just before 10pm and Carmelita Jeter of the USA – fastest active female sprinter out there after clocking in with 10:64 – is the favourite. She will be seeking to spoil the Jamaican party at 9.55pm.

Cheer on Team GB Women’s Hockey captain Kate Walsh as she makes her expected return from a broken jaw to take on China at 4pm.

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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