Tokyo 2020 Day 3: McSharry reaches 100m breaststroke final but losses in boxing and hockey

Tokyo 2020 Day 3: Mcsharry Reaches 100M Breaststroke Final But Losses In Boxing And Hockey Tokyo 2020 Day 3: Mcsharry Reaches 100M Breaststroke Final But Losses In Boxing And Hockey
Ireland's Mona McSharry in action during the Women's 100m Breaststroke second semi final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Picture date: Monday July 26, 2021.
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Digital Desk Staff

It was a mixed bag on day three for Team Ireland as Irish swimmer Mona McSharry qualified for the 100m breaststroke final but there were loses in other sports.

  • Swimming: Mona McSharry reaches 100m breaststroke final; Brendan Hyland in men's 200m butterfly heat at 11.29am; Ellen Walshe in women's 200m individual medley heat at 11.56am
  • Rugby Sevens: Ireland lose to South Africa on first appearance; Ireland face USA at 10.30am
  • Hockey: Ireland women beaten 4-0 by Netherlands
  • Boxing: Brendan Irvine’s Olympic campaign is over after defeat by Carlo Paalam; Michaela Walsh loses to Irma Testa
  • Triathlon: Russell White finishes 48th
  • Canoe slalom: Liam Jegou misses out on final place
  • Sailing: Annalise Murphy in Race 3 and 4 of women's laser radial at 6.35am


Mona McSharry became only the second Irish swimmer after Michelle Smith de Bruin in Atlanta in 1996, to make it into an Olympic final on Monday.

As the Irish Times reports, the Sligo breaststroker swam her way into the 100m final after coming fourth in her semi-final swim in a time of 1:06.59, just 0.3 seconds off her Irish senior record.

McSharry qualified in eighth place overall with the fastest eight times making it through to the final. The 20-year-old squeaked into Tuesday’s event by one hundredth of a second at the expense of Australian swimmer Chelsea Hodges.

She swam the first 50m split in 31.62 as Swiss swimmer Lisa Mamie took out the field. But she made ground on the return leg to seal fourth place and a lane in an Olympic final.


“It’s amazing,” said McSharry. “This is my first event ever in the Olympics and I’ve made a final... with the past year and a half that everyone’s had its unbelievable. No one’s given a medal before they go in. We all have a chance. I’m definitely going to go for it. Everyone at home must be buzzing.”

Rugby Sevens

In an historic day for the men’s Irish Rugby Sevens side, their first ever participation in the Olympic Games ended in a 33-14 defeat to South Africa at the Tokyo Stadium.

Four tries from South Africa to two from Ireland, in the end gave the African side a clear winning margin.

Ireland did play their way into the game when they came back from 14-0 down to 14-7 with a try from Gavin Mullin and, again when they were chasing from 21-7 down, they came back to 21-14 after Terry Kennedy burst through the middle of the South African defensive line.


But better work at the breakdown from South Africa and a little bit of rustiness in Ireland’s game from not having as much competition over the last 12 months let the match slip away, Stedman Gans grabbing South Africa’s fourth at the death.


The Irish women’s hockey team went down 4-0 in the second match of their Olympic debut against the Dutch World Champions. A dogged performance from Ireland held the Netherlands to 1-0 for much of the game, until the defensive wall finally cracked in the last 15 minutes, when the the Dutch class finally won through.

At the end it was the three late goals that tuned the scoreline as the Netherlands won the match by the same score as they did against Ireland in the recent European Championships in Amsterdam.


The third Irish fighter into the ring and the second to bow out, Brendan Irvine found his Filipino opponent Carlo Paalam just a little too feisty and aggressive to handle in his opening bout of the men’s flyweight division, eventually losing out on a split decision.

Certainly on the back foot in the opening round, the 25-year-old from Belfast brought himself back into contention in round two, drawing level on two of the judges’ scorecards: Paalam was visibly tiring in the third round, trying some spoiling tactics in the process, but had done enough to hold on, winning on a 4-1 split decision.


For Irvine, who co-carried the Irish flag with Kellie Harrington into Friday’s Opening Ceremony, this certainly fell short of his own Olympic ambitions, and he made no secret of his disappointment in the immediate aftermath.

“I’m absolutely devastated to not win,” he said. “I put so much into these three past years to get here so you can understand why it’s so upsetting but I’m immensely proud to be representing my country and the boxing team, to be captaining them, so I just have to pick myself up and support them for the rest of my time here."

Later on in the morning there was also disappointment for Michaela Walsh as she was beaten on a unanimous decision by Italy’s Irma Testa in her last-16 women’s 57kg featherweight bout.

Walsh got off to a good start by taking the opening round, but Testa settled into the fight in the second, taking that round before also taking the third to advance to the last eight.

Walsh had received a bye to get to the last-16 so the loss means she’s going home after one fight and afterwards she felt a little hard done by with the unanimous decision but acknowledged that the margins are fine at this level.

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