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Donegal dazzler Greenan to fly flag in Singapore

Emily Greenan from Donegal will represent Ireland in the modern pentathlon at the World Youth Olympic Games in Singapore which start on August 14.

Greenan, aged 17, took one of eight places on offer to European countries at the recent World Youth A Championships in Sweden. Also competing in Sweden were Naomi Mullins from Mayo and Maeve Brassil from Galway.

Modern pentathlon is the original multi-discipline event, consisting of swimming, riding, fencing, shooting and running. It will celebrate its centenary during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In Ireland, the sport has evolved from the tetrathlon and minimus events organised by the Pony Club and Irish pentathletes are already making an impact internationally.

At the World Cup in Moscow recently, Natalya Coyle became the first pentathlete to represent Ireland at the World Cup final. Coyle, aged 21, is currently ranked 61st in the world and is part of the Pentathlon Ireland's high performance programme aiming to qualify pentathletes for the London 2012 Olympics. With eight of the top 10 women coming from the UK, and only two competitors permitted from each country, Coyle already has a great chance of making it. Also on the squad is Hugh Lanigan O'Keeffe, who won the British title last year.

A further boost for the sport in Ireland were the performances of Eanna Bailey from Dublin and Miriam Cashman from Cork at the German Open. Bailey, aged 19, finished 10th overall and fifth of the junior men, having made up several places in the final running/shooting discipline. Cashman was fourteenth in the women's competition.

In the younger age groups, a Youth B team made up of Brian O'Sullivan, Emily Keane, Sionann O'Reilly Collins and Sive Brassil heads to Bulgaria next month for the European Junior Championships.

O'Sullivan won his class at the UK and Ireland Tetrathlon International (cross country run, swim, shoot and cross country horse ride) in Bedale a few weeks ago. Both boys and girls teams won their events, with Collins second individual among the girls and Keane fifth.

Brassil is also on the tetrathlon team travelling to the US in a few weeks time.

To help them all improve, Pentathlon Ireland has recently employed a full-time Irish coach with help from the Irish Sports Council.