Wednesday 21 March 2018

Shane Lowry pulls out of the Olympic Games due to Zika fears

Ireland's Shane Lowry
Ireland's Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry has become the latest golfer to pull out of the Rio Olympics Games, following Rory McIlroy and Jason Day in withdrawing from the competition due to fears over the Zika virus.

The Offaly golfer tweeted out a statement this afternoon, where he confirmed that he is withdrawing his name from conention. Lowry is now the third Irish golfer to rule himself out of the Olympics, after similar announcements from McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

Read more: Katie Taylor cuts down top golfers and makes indirect pop at McIlroy and Lowry for Olympic withdrawal 

Padraig Harrington has previously said that he will compete if selected, and the three-time Major winner is the highest ranked Irish player who is yet to withdraw.

"It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision over the past couple of days to withdraw from the upcoming Olympic games this August," Lowry's statement began.

"Wendy [his wife] and I have just recently been married and we hope to be lucky enough to have a family in the near future. Based on these circumstances, I have received firm medical advice that I should not travel to Rio this summer."

The Olympic Council of Ireland have also released a statement in response to Lowry's decision.

"The OCI is disappointed to hear of the news that Shane Lowry is withdrawing from Rio 2016 due to his concerns over the Zika virus," they said.

"However, as we have always said, it is down to the individual and of course we respect Shane’s decision, which he has taken for personal reasons.

"The OCI already note that we are very fortunate to have three time major champion Pádraig Harrington who now looks likely to gain automatic qualification. Seamus Power is currently the next highest ranked Irish player and his possible qualification will be determined on the 11th July."

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