Judo siblings Megan and Ben Fletcher heading for Tokyo 2020

This brings the number of athletes competing for Ireland in Tokyo 2021 to 116

Ben and Megan Fletcher during a Tokyo Team Ireland announcement for Judo at the Sport Ireland Institute. They are both heading for the Olympics. Photograph: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Ben and Megan Fletcher during a Tokyo Team Ireland announcement for Judo at the Sport Ireland Institute. They are both heading for the Olympics. Photograph: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

 

Team Ireland has officially confirmed the second set of siblings to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, which begins next week. Megan Fletcher and Ben Fletcher will compete in the Judo event as the first Irish brother and sister to qualify for Japan’s national sport. Lisa Kearney was a previous Irish Judo competitor at London 2012.

The final Olympic team announcement brings the number of athletes competing for Ireland in Tokyo 2021 to 116, the largest Ireland have set to an Olympics. This year it is bolstered by the qualification of two team sports in rugby 7’s and women’s hockey. The previous largest Irish team was in 1948 when 81 athletes competed in London.

The Fletchers make it two sets of siblings in Tokyo and follow the first Irish boxing brother and sister pair, Belfast’s Michaela and Aidan Walsh, who have also both qualified, Michaela in the 58kg category and Aidan at 69kg

It will be the first time Irish athletes will compete in both the male and female judo events, which begin in the Nippon Budokan on the 28-29th July.

Ben Fletcher, who competes in the 100 kg category, is a former Olympian, having previously competed for Britain in Rio 2016 and has had a dramatic pathway into his second Games. He broke his leg in two places in February. However, his strong position going into 2020 ensured he held onto his ranking position by the close of the qualification window.

First time Olympian Megan Fletcher fights in the -70kg category and is looking forward to competing in Tokyo after what has been a challenging year,

“Being selected for the Olympics means the absolute worlds to me. I am so proud to have made the Irish team and to be flying the flag at my first Games. It has been such a long road to this point, and I couldn’t be more excited to get over to Tokyo and fight now.”

Irish Judo Team - Megan Fletcher (Women’s -70kg) , Ben Fletcher (Men’s -100kg).

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