Team Ireland in Tokyo: Uncooperative horse scuppers modern pentathlon medal chances

olympics
Team Ireland In Tokyo: Uncooperative Horse Scuppers Modern Pentathlon Medal Chances
Uliana Batashova and Ireland's Natalya Coyle in the fencing round of the modern pentathlon event. Photo: INPHO.
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Team Ireland’s Brendan Boyce put in one of the performances of his career to power to a top ten finish in the 50km race walk this morning, less than three minutes outside the medals.

With golf, modern pentathlon, cycling track and equestrian events also under way on Day 14 of the Olympic Games, we have the latest below.

Modern pentathlon

Natalya Coyle's medal chances in the modern pentathlon event have been scuppered by an uncooperative horse.

Her mount Constantin refused to jump multiple times in what proved to be a costly show-jumping event, following the freestyle swimming and fencing legs of the event.

It saw Coyle drop from fourth place to 19th overall with only the combined shooting and running in the laser run left to go, before she finished the total event in 24th place.

Athletics – race walk

Team Ireland’s 50km race walkers took to Sapporo Odori Park this morning for the longest event of the athletics programme.

Brendan Boyce put in one of the performances of his career to finish 10th in a time of 3:53:40, while his teammate Alex Wright also impressed in 29th, his highest finish ever at a global championship, with a season’s best time of 4:06:20.

Boyce went with the lead pack from the off, holding that position in a group of 22 men through to the halfway mark. Wright spent most of the first half of the race in the second and third packs, positioned in the thirties and walking in relative isolation for long stretches.

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An early morning start of 5.30am was intended to dampen the extreme conditions, but the athletes still faced temperatures in the thirties, and intense humidity for their four-hour effort.

As the race entered its final hour, both Irishmen began to pick up places, with Boyce up to 11th with 10km to go, and Wright in 36th. Working most of the final stages of the race in isolation, both finished very strongly to cement their positions in the top 10, and top 30.

Boyce said: “The race tactics were good, it was kind of the way I planned – to go out steady and push through the race.

“I worked for the top ten definitely so I’m happy – happy to get that kind of a result in these conditions and back up what I did two years ago in Doha.”

Golf

Stephanie Meadow remains in contention for a medal into the final day of the women's golf. She is seven-under-par after this morning's third-round, and four shots outside the medal spots.

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The third round of the women’s individual stroke play got under way with Team Ireland’s Meadow and Leona Maguire placed well inside the top 20.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for the pair, with Meadow carding a round of 68 to move her into a tie for 10th, while Maguire — who got off to a hot start — dropped three shots on the 9th, to finish with a round of 70 and move down into a tie for 18th.

Speaking afterwards, Meadow said that patience was key: “I had a few misreads and a couple of bad putts, it wasn’t like I was hitting them perfect, so I couldn’t get too mad at myself. It was part of it, but it was nice to finish strong.

“I hit it really well today it could have been a low one, but I’m just happy I gave myself a lot of opportunities and hopefully I can tie that together tomorrow with making some putts. I’m in with a chance, so that’s all I can ask for.”

Maguire expressed frustration after an uncharacteristic triple-bogey 7 on the ninth proved costly and she finished 1-under for her round and on 5-under total.

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“I’m frustrated,” she said afterward. “I got off to a much better start and I felt like I made up a lot of ground early and then just threw it away on 9, pretty much.

“I didn’t feel like I hit all that bad of a shot, like I thought I hit the second shot real nice and it just clipped that tree… Things could have gone a lot differently if that ball had have just gone a little bit higher, a little bit lower but, that’s golf.”

Cycling track

Team Ireland’s Emily Kay and Shannon McCurley failed to finish in cycling's madison at the Velodrome.

A crash derailed the pair, in the first time the women's madison featured at the Olympic games.

Britain's Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny claimed gold, with Kenny becoming Britain's most decorated female Olympian in the process.

Equestrian

Shane Sweetnam has been eliminated in the team show jumping after his horse Alejandro lost a shoe at the start of their round.

The Irish show jumping team have since withdrawn from the team qualifiers, after starting out 9th out of 19 teams to go — with 10 qualifying for tomorrow’s team final.

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