Monday 20 November 2017

Team Ireland is targeting just three medals in Rio, Ross told

Minister for Sport, Transport and Tourism Shane Ross. Photo: Tom Burke
Minister for Sport, Transport and Tourism Shane Ross. Photo: Tom Burke
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

The Irish Olympic team has a target of just three medals at the Rio Games this summer, Minister for Sport Shane Ross has been told.

That compares with the five medals won by Irish competitors including Katie Taylor in London four years ago.

The target, as set out by Sport Ireland (SI), is in a briefing document given to Mr Ross. It also states that the Paralympic team target is five medals, down from 16 in 2012.

An SI spokesman said the medal target reflected factors including performance at other international competitions as well as the "level of investment" in the team.

"Sport Ireland was delighted that it reached and surpassed the medal target in London," the spokesman added. He said that the agency was "proud" of the team going to Rio but that it presented different challenges to London. "It is prudent to maintain a fair and reasonable target for the sports," he said.

Elsewhere, the ministerial briefing outlines how the department is "liaising" between SI and the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) to "resolve differences" between them.

The documents state that tensions arose after the departure of head coach Billy Walsh.

Another issue is "maximising the use" of high-performance facilities at Abbotstown.

Progress has been made in this process, the department, Sport Ireland and the IABA all said last night.

The IABA said the department's input has had a "very positive effect", while the SI spokesman said it had been "made clear at every point that the Olympic boxing programme was a priority".

Irish Independent

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