Ten interesting Irish Olympians in London 2012
Unsung Irish Athletes in the Olympiad XXX
From Judo to sailing, shooting to the pentathlon, here is an exclusive IrishCentral preview of who to watch from Ireland in this year’s Olympiad XXX.
1. Lisa Kearney, Judo, Belfast @Kearney_judo (Elimination Round July 28th, 10:30 am)
Yes, Judo. You read it right. She will be the first Irish athlete to compete in this event for the emerald isle. Kearney has proven herself as a World Champion in 2010 in Somoa. The Scotland-based judoka faces a difficult field this summer in the 48 kg category as she is also recuperating from a ligament tear. Her coach, Ciaran Ward, is no stranger to the games himself having competed in 1992 and 1996 in Judo.
2. Derek Burnett, Trap (Shooting), Longford (Qualification Round, August 5th, 9am)
No spring chicken at 41, this Olympiad will mark Burnett’s fourth quest for Gold. His best finish was 7th in the 2004 Athens games. Burnett should have a shot in London at Bronze in the 2010 European championships in Kazan, Russia.
3. Eion Rheinish, Canoeing, Leixlip, County Kildare, @eoinrheinischpr (1st Heats, July 29th, 1:30 pm)
The sportsman, currently ranked 27th in the world-cup standings, is a seven-time world cup finalist in this discipline who finished fourth in Beijing and is looking to wet his appetite for a medal in London. When not at the Olympics you can find Eion at the Salmon Leap Canoe Club in Leixlip.
4. Keiran Behan, Gymnastics, Surrey (Qualification Event, July 28th, 11 am)
This may be a typical Olympic Sport for the Americans but it is foreign to the Irish. Behan is only the second Irish gymnast in history to represent the country at the games. His strength is the floor event for which he won the 2011 world championship and finished fourth in London qualifying. This is even more impressive considering Behan blew out both his knees in 2010.
5. Sanita Puspure, Rowing, Ballincollig, Co. Cork @rihpp, (single scull) (1st Heats, July 28th, 9:30 am)
She is the rowing team for these games and the first female Irish competitor in the event since Frances Cryan finished seventh at Moscow 1980. Puspure, of Latvian descent, impressed at the Olympic qualifier finishing fourth last May in Lucerne. She received her Irish passport in 2011.
6. Annalise Murphy, Sailing (laser radial), The Rathfarnham, Co Dublin, @annalise_murphy (Preliminary Races, July 30th, 12 pm)
Ms. Murphy was born to sail. Her father Con owns the Round Ireland Speed Record and her mother Kathy sailed for Ireland in Seoul 1988. The first woman to win the Irish National Championships in 2010, she has made her mark with a 6th place finish in the 2011 World Championships. Currently Ms. Murphy is ranked 14th. After her Olympic turn she will continue her studies at UCD.
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