Tuesday 23 January 2018

This Irish Olympian's response to getting his phone stolen shows exactly why he belongs in Rio

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Preparations for this summer's Olympic Games are in full swing but one Irishman set to compete in Rio has told how he unexpectedly got involved in a bit of extra training.

Arthur Lanigan O'Keeffe will compete in the Modern Pentathlon this August, an event that sees athletes take part in five sports - shooting, swimming, running, fencing and show jumping - in one day.

It is a sport that obviously requires a wide-range of skills and Lanigan O'Keeffe can add chasing down thieves to his repertoire after he reacted quickly to having his phone pinched on O'Connell Street.

He was on route to confirm his funding when the incident happened, and he has argument for an increase after showing such athleticism and bravery in this instance.

"I was on O'Connell Street and I was looking at the GPS on my phone and this guy took it out of my hand," Lanigan O'Keefe told Breakfast Republic on 2FM this morning.

"The instant reaction was to follow him. He turned around and could see I was following him. Then he looked again and could see I was right beside him and I could see the fear in his eyes.

"I was thinking 'I'm gonna catch this guy' and I put my hand on his shoulder and he dropped the phone. There were a lot of people watching and I got a standing ovation."

Lanigan O'Keeffe finished 25th at the London Olympics in the Modern Pentathlon but recently took gold in the World Cup mixed relay with compatriot Natalya Coyle, who is bidding to qualify for the Rio games.

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