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Welcome to the Team Ireland Club! Join with us to follow our athletes' journey to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and to find general Irish sporting news and events. Céad Míle Fáilte!
  1. What's new in this club
  2. I do understand there are similarities to last year which does provide some solace but at the same time this is an Olympic year. The competition is always multiple times steeper in an Olympic year so being able to turn things around is a much harder ask this year. I think the only boat I have confidence in turning around their season is McCarthy and O’Donovan. I think they’ll be much quicker and fitter come the Olympics. None of the women’s boats are particularly impressing me right now but I don’t want to sound too harsh, it’s good that we are in the mix for A finals but I think we will be just outside the medals come Paris. I would absolutely love to be wrong and I may very well be as I have no inside knowledge.
  3. Guys guys guys, Ok today wasn't great but I feel like we had this exact same conversation at the equivalent point last year. The LM2x will be fine. It lost, not ideal but its fine. It lost last year too. Still the overwhelming favourite for gold in the boatclass. The M2x is also fine, dissapointing it wasn't here but it should be favoured for a medal along with the Netherlands and probably Romania's new combination. There are a lot of contenders but it is still a favourite right now. The M2- is injured and finished 6th at world cup iii last year. I don't know if it ultimately medals but it is in the exact same spot it was last year. Also in the same spot as last year is the W2- which is unfortunate because it looks likely we will finish fourth but it is rare that the Olympics goes exactly to form and we are right there if something goes wrong for one of Netherlands, Australia or Romania. The W2x is right in the mix although it has underperformed in both finals this year which is concerning but this boatclass is wide open behind the Romanians (assuming they regain their form after a dissapointing Europeans). The US won today, Australia's new double looks impressive, Norway have looked good but I would kind of expect them to regress a bit as the year goes on. Lithuania have struggled this season but could return to form and then there is us. We are on track to make the A final and it is anybody's race from there. The LW2x, not a particularly encouraging regatta all right but we really aren't that far away and we know how close this boatclass will end up being. For me nothings changed, we have in very similar circumstances won 3 world championships medals in both of the last 2 years. That is still my expectation. LM2x to win gold, M2x to finish second or third and one of the other boats to push their way onto the podium, Maybe it goes wrong but I don't understand why we are expecting it to go wrong given this season has looked exactly the same as last year and fairly similar to 2022 as well.
  4. I think today's rowing results at the World Cup highlight what we have been fearing, our rowing teams have a lot of work to do to be ready for the Olympics. There are similarities to last year when our teams didn't fire for the Europeans but were on top form at the World Championships but I am definitely more worried this time.
  5. Fourth for Bergin and Hyde in their race. Overall a disappointing event for Ireland and the concerns about our rowing hopes going in to Paris remain. If anything, with O'Donovan and McCarthy playing catch-up in the lightweights, things are probably worse than expected. Plenty of scope to make finals at Paris, but improvement needed if there is to be any more than a single rowing medal in these games for us.
  6. Lightweight doubles pushed down to third in their final. Well beaten by the Italians and the Swiss beat them two days in a row. Still very likely to win a medal at the games but no longer looking like our best gold medal hope. While we have arguably more medal potential at these Olympics than any previous to this, it's getting more and more difficult to see where any golds might come from.
  7. LW double were third in Lucerne. Italy stole a march to win, neck and neck with Swiss all the way. Best case scenario, Fintan is recovering and this is a kick in the arse for them
  8. Timoney has been injured so the first choice pair hasn’t raced. No idea if he’ll be OK for Paris but not ideal. Similar to the double. For what it’s worth my expectation has been one medal in rowing for a while now. Maybe 4 finalists and the women’s double might improve as Bergin matures but we’ve been closer to 4th than 2nd with our recent bronze winning partnerships so didn’t “expect” a medal there
  9. Yes, doesn't look like it's going to work out for the men's pairs this year. I haven't given up on the doubles yet, will need to see where they are when they come back. Keogh and Murtagh look like they'll be racing the Romanians for bronze in the Olympics at best.
  10. It's disappointing as it appears the mens pair is an event where, despite medalling at most recent World Championship, we are now out of medal contention for in Paris. Good bronze medal for Keogh and Murtagh but it appears they haven't closed the gap on Dutch and Aussies from last years worlds and Romania are not racing at this regatta. With Doyle and Lynch having a disrupted season, prospects not great for men's double either, hopefully the women's double can push into medal contention, today will tell a lot. And with lightweight double having serious competition, we might have to revise our rowing expectations for Paris.
  11. A comfortable bronze for Murtagh and Keogh in Lucerne ahead of the Greeks but well behind Netherlands and Australia. Corrigan and Kearney well off the pace in their race, the change of personnel not massively changing the fortunes for that boat.
  12. That’s a great spot. I just always assumed it’d be per gender. I don’t know why I didn’t think to check Great News
  13. It doesn't specify so I don't think it is. In the table it lists the quota limit for up to 7 relays and there are 7 relays overall, not per gender.
  14. On reflection, it looks like we are pretty much certain to qualify our men's 4x100m medley relay team now because if I understand correctly, we can send 4 relay-only swimmers courtesy of the fact we have 2 relay teams qualified: For the women's 4x100m medley relay we are likely to enter Danielle Hill, Mona McSharry and Ellen Walshe and use 1 relay-only quota. That leaves us able to use 3 relay-only athletes for the men's event, assuming we enter Tom Fannon. We may qualify some swimmers through OCT invites anyway but the qualification of Danielle Hill and Tom Fannon this week should cement both relay team qualifying for Paris.
  15. Some very encouraging performances in the rowing. The Swiss LWs are the real deal, but the two lads have been warned now and will know that they will have to find another gear to win gold. It occurred to me this morning that as things stand it's possible that both our Olympic gold medalists from Tokyo could end up losing their crowns to "Ireland" athletes in Paris (to Amy Broadhurst and Ahumada Ireland). Hopefully not though!
  16. Strong results in the rowing semis in Lucerne, with women's Pair and women's double sculls winning their semis, mens pair and womens lightweight double making their finals. O'Donovan/McCarthy worryingly beaten by the Swiss, as I've suspected since the Swiss cake on the scene last year, the Irish lads will have a real fight on their hands to retain gold in Paris. Start of their season slightly disrupted by missing Europeans and World Cup I (O'Donovan competed in the heavyweight single) so hopefully they can find their inner Corkness and power on as the season goes on, a chance to turn the tables in the final tomorrow. At the boxing Olympic qualifier, wins for Sean Mari (51kg) on a split against 🇵🇰 and light-heavy Kelyn Cassidy against 🇩🇪, both progress to round of 32, still a long road to qualification and only 3 spots up for grabs in Cassidy's division. At the swimming trials, Shane Ryan hit the OCT for the 100m freestyle this morning, needs to find another 0.21 to get the Olympic Selection Tine. Danielle Hill first Irish woman under 25 seconds for 50m freestyle in 24.95, 0.25 off OST, hopefully one or both can hit those times later.
  17. Well, we’ll have a better idea of their current form over the next two days as they’re in the semi together, and hopefully in the final together too
  18. John Shortt joins the list with OCT time but not OQT. 1:57.90 is 0.4 off the OQT.
  19. The Keenan story is good news and it sounds like one or two more from the provinces might make the temporary move across, though not as big names as him. Tough for some of the long term sevens players who will miss out, but it's the right call I think. A major part of Ireland taking sevens more seriously was the Olympic aspect, so we need to throw everything we can at it.
  20. The Swiss men's lightweight double looks the real deal, O'Donovan and McCarthy will have their work cut out this year to retain their gold medal.
  21. Hugo Keenan is linking up with the Irish men's sevens squad in an attempt to make the Olympic team. He'll play at an upcoming sevens tournament in Madrid.
  22. The timeline is odd too. They have to accept the relay by start of June, but the qualifying period ends about 3 weeks later (when the OCT invites go out). Both Ferguson (back) and McCusker (fly) have the OCT so might get an invite and swim Ireland has said that, unlike in previous games, they would accept these invites so yes, we could accept the relay quota with Wiffen and Fannon and hope to fill the team with Ferguson and McCusker and 2 relay only. I’m sure Fannon could stretch to the 100m if needed One more (maybe Ryan in the 100m free or John Short in the 200m back) and I’d be certain!
  23. With Tom Fannon qualifying, every chance the men's relay will make it now. Although Conor Ferguson didn't make the OQT in the 100 backstroke, he has an OCT and is probably within range of getting an invite. Not sure of the exact rules, but with Daniel Wiffen and Tom Fannon qualified, our team can accept the relay quota, Ferguson could well get in via an OCT invite, meaning Wiffen doesn't need to be included in the relay and we can still invite 2 relay-only athletes. Does that logic stack up or are there pesky rules I am not aware of?
  24. No. A relay gets you 2 “relay only” quotas but you can make up your team with any 2 qualified individuals. We’d have used McSharry and Walshe (fly) Jon Rudd didn’t know this rule last time which meant Brendan Hyland (normally a fly specialist) and Shane Ryan (sprinter) had to swim in the 4x200m free relay.
  25. I think it confirms the relay because two of the strokes are now qualified individually.
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