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Thursday 29 September 2016

Medals roll in for Team Ireland as competition heats up in California

Published 29/07/2015 | 02:30

Team Ireland's Sean Coleman with his Silver Medal for the 25M Backstroke
Team Ireland's Sean Coleman with his Silver Medal for the 25M Backstroke

Team Ireland's medal haul at the Special Olympics has risen to four after Sarah Jane Johnston claimed her second bronze medal of the Games.

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Irish athletes took part in a range of events, including basketball, bowling, bocce and badminton, but it was in the pool once again where they had their greatest success.

Sarah Jane (35), a member of Ripples Sports Special Olympics Club, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, finished third in the 100m freestyle race, in a repeat of her performance in the backstroke competition on Sunday. After the race, she said: "I am very happy and proud of my performances and I am really enjoying the World Games."

There was also success in the pool for Galway athlete Lorraine Hession, who narrowly missed out on a bronze but celebrated with a fourth-place ribbon in a separate division of the 100m freestyle competition.

The 27-year-old, from Turloughmore, Co Galway, registered a personal best before being presented with her ribbon by the Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom.

Team Ireland aquatics coach Jennifer Hughes from Baldoyle, Dublin, said: "Lorraine and Sarah Jane swam really well today in two competitive races. I'm delighted with their performances."

At the LA Live bowling alley, Ireland were supported by a huge crowd as they bowled in the team event alongside Panama. After nearly three hours, they had to settle for sixth place. The team of Anita O'Connor (47) from Carlow; John Rowan (51) from Rathnew, Co Wicklow; Michael Conboy (48) from Galway city; and Sean Campbell, (30) from Coleraine, Co Derry, will all bowl again later in the week in individual competitions.

A personal best was also achieved by James Meenan (20) from Dundalk, Co Louth, in the 100m heat on the athletics track. The St Therese's Special Olympics Club member can now look forward to the finals later in the week.

Irish Independent

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