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Four-star heroes: Meet Ireland's latest Olympic Games medallists

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Ireland rowers, from left, Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty celebrate after finishing 3rd place in the Women's Four final at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Ireland rowers, from left, Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty celebrate after finishing 3rd place in the Women's Four final at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Ireland rowers, from left, Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty celebrate after finishing 3rd place in the Women's Four final at the Sea Forest Waterway during the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Four lives, four stories, meandering their way along very different paths to the same destination – one few of us outside the cloistered world of Irish rowing had really seen coming. But those inside that tent had long whispered it quietly, conscious not to shout too loud for fear of jinxing it: There was something very special about this Irish women’s four.

Aifric Keogh, Fiona Murtagh, Emily Hegarty, Eimear Lambe – a blend of aspirational youth and expectant experience, the whole being greater than the sum of its individual parts. And now they’re truly great, names that will be etched into the annals of Irish sporting history: the first Irish athletes to stand on the podium at the Tokyo Games, the first Irishwomen ever to win an Olympic medal in rowing – a quartet who didn’t so much go where the path led as venture where there was none, leaving behind a terrifically inspirational trail.


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