Olympic Breakfast: Walsh guarantees another medal for Ireland but mixed fortunes on the track

Belfast boxer Walsh provided a memorable moment on another busy morning for Team Ireland in Tokyo.

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Some disappointment on the track but better news in the ring on another busy day for Team Ireland in Tokyo. Welcome to the latest of our overnight updates from the Olympic Games. 

The Irish Eye

There’s a lot to get through here, but we’ll start with Aidan Walsh’s brilliant win over Mervin Clair of Mauritius to secure at least a bronze medal.

Walsh was controlled and clever in his quarter-final fight, with Clair barely managing to land a punch, and the Belfast boxer now has the chance to reach an Olympic final when he takes on familiar foe Pat McCormack on Sunday.

Earlier this morning, Dublin’s Kellie Harrington delivered a classy a performance on her Olympic debut to see off the challenge of Italy’s Rebecca Nicoli by unanimous decision. Harrington is now just one fight away from bringing home an Olympic medal, and will fight Algeria’s Imane Khelif in her quarter-final fight next Tuesday morning – set your alarms. 

Elsewhere, it was a disappointing start to the Irish interest at the Japan National Stadium as the athletics events got underway. 

Nadia PowerLouise Shanahan and Síofra Cléirigh Büttner were the first Irish athletes out on the track, but all three failed to qualify from their heats in the women’s 800m.

kellie-harrington-before-her-fight Kellie Harrington before her fight. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

It was better news for Thomas Barr, who delivered a strong performance in his 400m hurdle heat to qualify for the semi-finals, the Waterford man recovering well from a momentary slip in pace to finish behind world record holder Karsten Warholm of Norway.

Ireland’s golfers are also in mix for medals, with Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry both shooting superb second rounds at the Kasumigaseki Country Club this morning to sit four shots off leader Xander Schauffele.

The Irish hockey team fell to a 1-0 defeat to India, and now have to beat Olympic champions Great Britain tomorrow if they are to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

There is also sailing action this morning, with Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove out in races seven and eight of the 49er class, while Annalise Murphy takes to the water for races nine and 10 in the laser radial. 

Who else is making headlines?

For the first time since 2000, someone other than Michael Phelps took gold in the men’s individual medley, with China’s Wang Shun becoming the event’s first winner since the American superstar hung up his speedos.

Australian sprint star Emma McKeon blazed to the women’s 100m freestyle Olympic gold medal in the second fastest time ever, with Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey – grand-niece of former Taoiseach Charles J Haughey – taking a surprise silver.  

Your must-see Olympic schedule for today

We’re back in the pool later as Danielle Hill competes in her 50m freestyle heat at 11.38am. At 11.48am, you can watch Daniel Wiffen in his 1500m freestyle heat.

karsten-warholm-and-thomas-barr Thomas Barr finished second in his heat. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Austin O’Connor and Colorado Blue provide the Irish interest in the Eventing Dressage at 11.24, and at noon, the Irish team of Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Cillin Greene and Christopher O’Donnell are in action in their 4x400m relay heat.

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Highlight of the night

It has to be Aidan Walsh, Ireland’s latest Olympic medal winner. The Belfast man was full value for his quarter-final win and will be confident of upgrading his bronze medal for silver or gold when he takes on Pat McCormack on Sunday.

Reader comments

“Classy as ever on the big stage by the badger haired Déise man.”

Sheamus Roche succinctly sums up silver fox Thomas Barr’s strong performance in the 400m hurdle heats.  

Some further reading 

In the Irish Examiner, Cathal Dennehy gets the story behind Inpho photographer Bryan Keane’s extraordinary shot of Simone Biles.

Quote of the day

“When I was younger, everyone was afraid of my big sister. She’s my best friend, I’d do anything for her.”

Aidan Walsh on sister and fellow Olympian Michaela, who provided plenty of vocal support during the boxer’s quarter-final bout.

About the author:

Ciarán Kennedy

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