Friday 19 January 2018

O'Donovans and Murphy send back Rio medals

2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games silver medal winner Annalise Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile
2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games silver medal winner Annalise Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile

The O'Donovan brothers and Annalise Murphy are among more than 100 athletes from around the world who have sent their Rio medals back to their Olympic councils after widespread complaints of flaking, black spots and other damage.

The Olympic Council of Ireland confirmed to Independent.ie that the trio have returned their gongs.

The council will send those medals to the makers in Brazil for repair or replacement, which could take upwards of a couple of weeks.

Finn Murphy, Annalise's brother and manager, released a statement yesterday revealing that the silver-winning sailor decided to send her medal back to the OCI after complaints that it was looking a bit "grubby" and that it may have even been bitten.

Murphy's statement read: "Annalise received an email from the OCI giving her the option to send her silver medal back for re-finishing or to hold on to it.

"She decided to send it back and dropped it into the OCI a couple of weeks ago. The medal was looking a bit grubby but we figured that could be down to people passing it around and even biting it!

"I think the problem was that some of the medals hadn't been finished properly at the beginning.

"Annalise is back on the water. She's training in Dun Laoghaire for the summer and will be going to the World Championships in the Netherlands in October."

Rio Games spokesman Mario Andrada said officials have noted problems with the covering on 6-7pc of the medals.

"The most common issue is that they were dropped or mishandled, and the varnish has come off and they've rusted or gone black in the spot where they were damaged," he said.

Irish Independent

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