Team Ireland in Tokyo: Harrington into Olympic final and Coyle in third after day one

olympics
Team Ireland In Tokyo: Harrington Into Olympic Final And Coyle In Third After Day One
A steady and determined performance sees the Meath pentathlete score a total of 238 points. Photo: Inpho
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Digital Desk Staff

While Kellie Harrington stole the headlines with her semi-final victory in boxing, there was plenty of other Irish athletes in action on Day 13 in Tokyo.

  • Boxing: Kellie Harrington guarantees herself at least silver with Lightweight semi-final win against Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand.
  • Diving: Tanya Watson misses out on Women’s 10m Platform final.
  • Golf: Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire both finish Round 2 of the Women’s Individual Stroke Play on four-under-par, tied-11th position.
  • Modern Pentathlon: Natalya Coyle in joint-third after the opening round.
  • Track Cycling: Mark Downey finishes 17th overall with 18 points.
  • Athletics: David Kenny places 29th in the Men's 20km Race Walk, while Andrew Coscoran finishes 10th in the Men's 1500m semi-final.

Boxing

As The Irish Times reports, Kellie Harrington is into the lightweight final and guaranteed at least a silver medal after winning her semi-final bout against Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand on a 3-2 split decision.

Beatriz Ferreira is now all that stands between Harrington and an Olympic gold in the women’s lightweight boxing final (Sunday morning, 6am Irish time). She defeated Finnish fighter Mira Potkonen in the second semi-final.

After the fight Harrington said that her patience was the key to victory: “It was a close fight. I knew it was going to be a chess match. I fought her in 2018 in the world final. It was tricky then, it was a chess match then, and it was a chess match today. She didn’t want to give anything, I didn’t want to give anything, but eventually someone had to.

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“It was patience that was key, I kept my patience and she didn’t. And that’s what won me the fight. The coaches were in the corner telling me, ‘stay patient’ and giving me tactics to throw and it worked.”

The Portland Row boxer says her past defeats and heartbreak were key to securing at least an Olympic silver medal in these games.

Modern pentathlon

After an impressive first round in the Women's Individual Fencing Ranking Round, Natalya Coyle is lying in joint third place going into day 2.

A steady and determined performance sees the Meath woman score a total of 238 points.

She beat Uliana Batashova from the Russian Olympic Committee in fencing.

Germany's Annika Schleu is currently first on 274 points, followed by Kim Se-hee from South Korea who is on 244 points.

The Meath native though is keeping her feet on the ground despite her excellent start:

“I actually don’t know the results, but I don’t think I’ll have a look because pentathlon is one out of five, and I know I started off well and that I’m really happy.

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“I’m really happy to have done all the training and my coaches justice anyway. I was very pumped that whole way through there whereas normally I conserve a bit of energy, but we’ve got some extra time. I was pretty excited for each hit and yeah, there is a lot of mental energy expended, it is three hours, but it flies by, and I can’t believe it’s over.

“I was really lucky in the holding camp in Fukuroi that Team Ireland organised to bring some good fencers out there and I think I got justice for that in the piste today, they definitely helped."

The five events are fencing, swimming, show jumping and then a combined cross-country and pistol shooting event.

Golf

Stephanie Meadow - with a second round 66 - and Leona Maguire - with a 67 - made upward moves on the leaderboard in the women’s individual strokeplay golf, each finishing on four-under-par 138 in tied-11th position.

World number one Nelly Korda fired a second round 62 for a midway total of 13-under-par 129 to claim a four stroke midway lead over her closest pursuers.

The sweltering heat remains a factor, with tournament organisers implementing additional heat mitigation measures including provision of umbrellas on the first tee and roving carts providing ice and cooling towels to players, caddies and officials.

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“I just kind of managed it a bit better today I think,” said Meadow after her round. “I still didn’t have my best stuff but I gave myself a little bit more room on left pins and didn’t short side myself so that was really the key and is always part of shooting under par.

Diving

A historic place in an Olympic diving final proved just out of reach for Tanya Watson as she finished 15th best overall after the semi-final round of the 10m platform.

Already the first Irish woman to compete in Olympic diving, the 19 year-old needed to finish in the top 12 to go through to the medal-deciding dives later in the day.

Watson did put herself in contention early on with two excellent opening dives: Her first dive earned her a score of 64.00, placing her ninth, and she followed that up with a 63.00 which by then moved her up to seventh.

However she slipped back down with her third dive, the 39.15 her lowest score of the morning and that’s what cost her. She rounded up with two further quality dives, and her final score of 278.15 put her 15th overall.

Making the semi-finals was amazing,” said Watson. “To be able to go out there again and dive was great. I just love flying through the air. I was nervous up there a bit but at the end of the day, once I am at the end of the board, I am focusing on something specific so I am just trying to do the best that I can with that really.

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“My first dive was solid. A good dive for me and I met the coaching points that I was asked to do. Second dive was probably the best I’ve done that dive in a while, so I was really happy with that one! My third dive, I met some of the targets, but unfortunately, I kicked a bit late so I overcooked it a bit. I was just so joyful to be in the Olympics like I was a bit sad about it, but I still had two dives to go.

Athletics

In the Men's 20km Race Walk, David Kenny put in a huge performance to clock a time of 1:26:54 to finish 29th.

The 22-year-old, coached by Olympic bronze medallist Robert Heffernan, said he was happy with his race, describing it as the "most mature" he's raced to date. "I came though strong and kept fighting towards the end, so I’m happy enough with my performance and hopefully, more to come," he said.

On the track, Andrew Coscoran took 10th in the Men's 1500m semi-final with a time of 3:35.84.

After posting the second fastest time of his career, the Dublin man said: "It was a good race, it was good for me. The heats was probably the best race of my life. I think I did better than what I was expected to do and I think that’s because of all the race experience I’ve had in the entire season."

In the event's second semi-final, Kenya's Abel Kipsang took first, setting an Olympic record in the process.

Later, Brendan Boyce and Alex Wright will both feature in the Men's 50km Race Walk, due to begin at 9.30pm.

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