3,003 total views, 1 views today
The Team Ireland Women’s Fours rowing team won bronze in the early hours of Thursday morning after a stunning performance at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty are the women behind Ireland’s first medal at Tokyo 2020.
Their win doubles the number of Irish women that have won Olympic medals for the team – the number is now at 8.
They join swimmer Michelle Smith, track star Sonia O’Sullivan, boxer Katie Taylor and sailor Annalise Murphy on the list.
Australia won the gold medal in an Olympic best time of 6.15.37 with the Netherlands second in 6.15.46.
Ireland finished five seconds off the pair of them in third with a time of 6.20.46 ahead of Britain by a single second (6.21.52).
Britain had been in third place throughout the race and at one point looked to be cruising to a medal finish.
Ireland was as low as fifth-place in the race at the halfway stage after a poor start saw them fall away from the pacesetters.
However, Ireland fought hard and got themselves up to fourth for the second time in the race by the 1500m mark.
The women ate at the time gap that the Team GB rowers had on them in third and overtook them heading into the final 200m.
The four rowers held on to their podium spot until they crossed the finish line to win a medal for Team Ireland.
This performance comes less than six months after the crew was formed.
The unlikely medal win serves as a promising precedent for what’s to come for Ireland in rowing at the Olympics, with Sanita Puspure and Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy tipped to do well in their respective events.
O’Donovan is already a medal winner for the nation in his event after winning silver in the Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls with his brother, Gary.
The Irish Women’s Four crew have potentially opened the floodgates for a successful Olympics for Irish rowing.