The Irish in action today and tomorrow
Olympics:All eyes will be on Mullingar native John Joe Nevin’s quest for a gold medal tonight when he fight’s ‘local boy’ Luke Campbell in the bantamweight final tonight (8.45pm).
8.45am – Men’s Modern Pentathlon –Arthur Lanigan-O’Keeffe was only confirmed as an Olympian on July 23rd, after the exclusion of a Polish competitor. In the first discipline, the fencing, he was 29th but moved up to 21st after finishing with the ninth quickest time in the swimming.
9am – Men’s 50km Race Walk –Rob Heffernan smashed the Irish record by seven and a half minutes with a marvellous fourth place, Brendan Boyce finished 29th but unfortunately Colin Griffin was disqualified just short of the 40 kilometre mark.
5pm – Women’s 20km Race Walk –At 36, Olive Loughnane’s brilliant championship record (7th in Beijing, 2nd in Berlin) still makes her a contender here, while at 23 years old Kildare woman Laura Reynold will benefit hugely from exposure to this sort of atmosphere with a view to a challenge in Rio, perhaps.
8.45pm – Boxing –After a masterclass against Cuban world champion Lazaro Alvarez Estrada, John Joe Nevin is ready for anyone. Standing between him and an Olympic bantamweight gold is Britain’s Luke Campbell. Last time the two met, the Englishman won on a countback after a 12-12 draw. This Anglo-Irish final at the ExCel Arena could well be one to remember.
8am – Modern Pentathlon –Natalya Coyle was the first Irish athlete to qualify for the modern pentathlon since Moscow 1980. Great performances in World Cup series events, most notably in Russia where she finished 10th, secured the 21-year-old a place in the final in China, from where she booked a place in London. A medal might be a big ask, but her form suggests she and Ireland can finish on a high.
11am – Marathon –Mark Kenneally of Clonliffe Harriers was one of the first to qualify for London when he ran 2:13:55 in Amsterdam last October, but he’s had to wait until the last day to see some action. A very consistent athlete, he has several national titles, between track and cross country, to his name and will be hoping to beat his coach Mark Carroll’s Irish record of 2:10.54 tomorrow.