Magee bats off O'Herlihy 'Protestant' comment


BADMINTON:OLYMPIAN CHLOE Magee has dismissed comments by RTÉ presenter Bill O’Herlihy about her sport being “mainly Protestant”.

Magee (23) from Raphoe, Co Donegal, won her first badminton game at the Olympics with victory over Egyptian competitor Hadia Hosny.

However there was controversy surrounding her victory when veteran TV anchor O’Herlihy said that when he was growing up, badminton was “a mainly Protestant sport”.

On Highland Radio yesterday, Magee said: “We need to remember what the Olympics is all about. I don’t think it is any different from any other sport. There are people here from all over the world and from many different religions. I’m sure he didn’t mean to say it. Sport is about participation. Why bring something like this into it?”

Magee, who is ranked 44th in the world, added that she had never heard religion mentioned in her sport before. “I don’t take it too seriously and focus on the badminton,” she said. She believed O’Herlihy had made a mistake and “people make mistakes”.

She added that she was focused on the next game later today against former world number four Pi Hongyan.

Magee, who missed the opening ceremony because of her match schedule, said there was huge support for her in the arena in London.

RTÉ said it had received a number of complaints about O’Herlihy’s remarks.