Tokyo 2020 digest: Disappointment on the track for Ireland

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean during the 1,500m heats at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean during the 1,500m heats at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

It’s been a disappointing night in Tokyo for Ireland’s track stars as all three hopefuls failed to make it to their semi-finals. Ciara Mageean’s 1,500m hopes were dashed as she struggled with an injury in finishing 10th in her heat while she also revealed afterwards just how difficult the year has been after her coach Jerry Kiernan died in January. Running at the same distance was Sarah Healy who also missed out in her heat - a race which turned out to be the fastest in Olympic history at this stage - while Phil Healy ran a personal best in the 200m heats but that was not enough for her to reach the semi-finals. Don’t forget, you can keep up to date with all of the action from Tokyo on our dedicated website.

Yesterday was a day of near misses for Ireland as Rory McIlroy, Rhys McClenaghan and Kurt Walker all missed out on medals but it was the interview of McClenaghan after his pommel horse disappointment which caught the imagination. At just 22-years-old the history-making Irish gymnast showed remarkable composure and is already very much setting his sights on Paris in 2024. Another Irish athlete doing the same is Rory McIlroy. After his reservations about the Olympics over the years it was clear to see yesterday that McIlroy’s Olympic conversion is complete, something he spoke about afterwards.

Tokyo 2020

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Moving on to GAA and the All-Ireland hurling semi-finals were confirmed over the weekend with Tipperary among those crashing out. Writing in his column this morning, Nicky English says that Tipp can’t pin the main cause of their defeat on a controversial penalty given to Waterford and the win for the Déise, as well as Cork’s victory over Dublin, means we have the best four teams in the semi-finals. Yesterday Dublin once again breezed to an 11th Leinster title in a row with victory over Kildare but Malachy Clerkin writes this morning that there were, at least, a few straws to clutch on to.

In his tipping point column this morning, Brian O’Connor writes that Irish racing can’t afford to keep shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted and that things need to improve to avoid more of the controversial incidents which have plagued the sport over the last year. In soccer Gavin Cummiskey speaks to Katie McCabe about her hopes for the continuing development of the Irish women’s game while, in rugby, Kyle Sinckler could face a lengthy ban for an alleged biting incident during the Lions’ second Test against South Africa on Saturday.

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