Olympics wrap: Irish hockey team get off to winning start, McClenaghan bags final spot

Olympics Wrap: Irish Hockey Team Get Off To Winning Start, Mcclenaghan Bags Final Spot
Roisin Upton celebrates scoring a goal against South Africa. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy
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Updated: 2.45pm

A number of Irish athletes were in action today on Day One of the Tokyo Games.


The Irish hockey team won their first match of the Games, rounding off a great day for Team Ireland.

Sean Dancer's side, making their first eve3r Olympic appearance, beat South Africa 2-0 after goals from Roisin Upton and Sarah Torrans in the first and third quarters.

Their next task is against the Netherlands on Monday.


Rhys McClenaghan impressed on his first Olympic outing, taking the top spot on the Pommel Horse in subdivision 1.

The 22-year-old finished with a score of 15.266, easily qualifying for the event's final following the results from the remaining divisions.

Speaking after his event, McClenaghan said: "It was a good day at the office. I am an Olympian now and that is a dream come true."


"We are as prepared as we can be. I am relying on the preparation that we have done so far to replicate my routine today and do it better," he added.


Dan Martin finished 16th while Nicolas Roche and Eddie Dunbar returned in 75th and 76th respectively in the gruelling 234km Men's Road Race.

The event, which lasted over six hours, only saw 82 of the 130 riders finish.

Martin praised his team afterwards, saying it was his "best experience in an Irish team".

Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar and Nicolas Roche. Photo: ©INPHO/Bryan Keane


Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy put in a blistering shift to finish their heat five seconds clear of the Czech Republic, with a time of 6.23.74 in the opening heats of the Lightweight Men's Double Scull.

Qualifying for the A Final in the Women's Four, Emily Hegarty, Fiona Murtagh, Eimear Lambe and Aifric Keogh narrowly missed out on first to Team Australia. Ireland's 6.28.99 will be nonetheless heartening considering it was just 0.23 seconds off the Aussie's new Olympic Best.

It was all smiles also for Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne who finished third in their repechage, claiming a spot in the A/B semi-final on Sunday. Also in action tomorrow is Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley, and Aoife Casey and Margaret Cremen who finished fourth and fifth in their heats respectively.



Featherweight Kurt Walker saw off Spain's Jose Quiles Brotons in their round of 32 fight, winning by a unanimous decision.

Up next for the 26-year-old is World Champion and number on seed, Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan.

Ireland’s Jack Wooley (red) in action against Lucas Lautaro Guzman (blue) of Argentina. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie


Dublin's Jack Woolley suffered a loss to Argentina's Lucas Guzman in his opening fight.

Ireland's first Taekwondon athlete lost in the final seconds, ending 22-19, and must now wait for the remainder of Guzman's results before he will know if he gets the opportunity to fight in the repechage later today.

"I’m very disappointed, everything was good in the lead up, in our prep, I felt physically great going in," Woolley said after the fight.

"I walked in today and something just didn’t click, it just wasn’t my day. I have to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best this evening.

"Sport is unpredictable. I hope everyone else he fights has a similar performance to me, but we have to see - he has to get to the final first," he added.


A strong performance in Heat 2 of the 100m Butterfly was not enough to see Ellen Walshe through to the semi-finals.

Clocking a time of 59.35 seconds, Walshe fell outside the top 16 when compared to the results from the other heats.

All is not lost for Walshe however, as she will be back in action on Monday in the 200m Individual Medley.

Longford's Darragh Greene also missed out on qualification for the semi-finals in the 100m Breaststroke event this afternoon.

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