Friday 30 September 2016

More medals for joyous Irish in Special Olympics

By Kevin Doyle in Los Angeles

Published 28/07/2015 | 09:11

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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Athletes took part in a range of events including basketball, bowling, bocce and badminton but it was the pool once again where finals were taking place.

Sarah Jane (35) from Lurgan, Co Armagh finished third in the 100 metre freestyle race, in a repeat of her performance in the backstroke competition on Sunday.

Speaking after the race, Sarah Jane 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 celebrated a fourth place ribbon in a separate division of the 100 metre freestyle competition. The 27- year-old, who hails from Turloughmore, Co Galway also registered a personal best in the race. 

Team Ireland aquatics coach Jennifer Hughes from Baldoyle, Dublin is thrilled with her team’s performance, commenting:  “Lorraine and Jane swam really well today in two competitive races, I'm delighted with their performances and am really proud of them.”

There was also a sixth place ribbon for the Team Ireland Bowling players Annita 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.

A personal best was also achieved by James Meenan (20) from Dundalk, Co Louth in the 100 metre heats. Heats are continuing across the 12 sports featuring Team Ireland athletes, with finals due in gymnastics, bocce, athletics, badminton, and bowling among others.

Commenting on Team Ireland’s second day at LA2015, Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland said: “Team Ireland continues to put in great performances across all 12 sports. The atmosphere in every venue has been fantastic and the travelling Irish support is certainly helping our athletes rise to the occasion. I know that the Irish public at home is cheering on every medal and personal best and joining us in celebrating this fantastic event.”

The World Games run until August 2.

Members of Team Ireland and Team GB gather for a combined team photograph after their nil all draw at the Drake Stadium. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Members of Team Ireland and Team GB gather for a combined team photograph after their nil all draw at the Drake Stadium. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland's Sean Coleman, left, a member of Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, from Youghal, Co Cork, with his Silver Medal - 25M Backstroke, Sarah Jane Johnston, a member of Ripples Sports Special Olympics Club, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, Bronze and Gary McEnroe, a member of St John of God Menni Services, from Tallaght, Dublin, who won Bronze at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland's Gary McEnroe, a member of St John of God Menni Services, from Tallaght, Dublin, after winning a Bronze Medal for the 25M backstroke at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland's Sean Coleman, a member of Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, from Youghal, Co Cork, with his Silver Medal - 25M Backstroke, at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland’s Sarah Jane Johnston, a member of Ripples Sports Special Olympics Club, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, who won Bronze at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Phildelma Coleman, centre, is congratulated by friends and family after her son Sean, a member of Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, from Youghal, Co. Cork, had just won a Silver Medal in the 25M Backstroke at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland’s Sean Coleman, a member of Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, from Youghal, Co Cork, and a winner of a Silver Medal - 25M Backstroke, with his mothyer Phildelma at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland’s Sean Coleman, a member of Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, from Youghal, Co. Cork, reacts on winning a Silver Medal in the 25M Backstroke at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland’s John Paul Coleman, a member of Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, from Youghal, Co. Cork, waves to family and supporters before competing and winning a Silver Medal in the 25M Backstroke at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
27 July 2015; Team Ireland's Anthony Clarke, left, a member of Bray Lakers Special Olympics Club, from Leixlip, Co. Kildare, and his team-mate Thomas Caulfield, a member of Cheeverstown Special Olympics Club, from Ballyfermot, Dublin, with Andrew Hetherington of Team GB after a nil all draw between the two teams at the Drake Stadium. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland’s Sean Coleman, a member of Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, from Youghal, Co. Cork, reacts on winning a Silver Medal in the 25M Backstroke at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
27 July 2015; Team Ireland’s Sean Coleman, a member of Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club, from Youghal, Co Cork, and a winner of a Silver Medal - 25M Backstroke, with his mother Phildelma and his sister and brothers and supporters at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Team Ireland’s Sarah Jane Johnston, a member of Ripples Sports Special Olympics Club, from Lurgan, Co Armagh, celebrates winning a Bronze Medal in the 100M backstroke event at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
27 July 2015; Team Ireland’s Nathan Finney, a member of Sporting Fingal Special Olympics, from Ballymun, Dublin, in action against Matthew Dodds, Team GB, during a nil all draw between Team Ireland and Team GB at the Drake Stadium. Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles, California, United States. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

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