Team Ireland on Day 7 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

JULY 30th, 2021: “I would cut my medal in half and give her half of it,” said a beaming Aidan Walsh of his sister Michaela this morning, as he put on a fantastic quarter-final display to guarantee himself at least a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Walsh was composed throughout the Men’s Welter bout with Merven Clair (MRI), and with sister, Michaela, cheering him on from the stands, powered through the opening round, and came back strong in the third after a spell of Clair pressure to secure a 4-1 split decision win in an absorbing clash.

The Belfast boxer now looks ahead to a familiar foe in the semi-final, number one seed, Pat McCormack, of Great Britain.


Team Ireland boxer Aidan Walsh has guaranteed himself at least a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this morning, following a 4-1 split decision win over Merven Clair (MRI) in an absorbing Men’s Welter quarter-final.

With sister, Michaela, cheering him on from the stands, Walsh powered through the opening round, and came back strong in the third after Clair pushed him all the way in the second round, to take the win.

“It’s incredible. I’m just so glad I’ve done my family, my girlfriend, my coaches and. Team Ireland so proud. To have your name up there as an Olympic medallist… I want to go for gold – always aiming for higher and better. It’s gone now and I’m on to the next one – I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Speaking of his sister’s support from the stands, he added: “Her voice cuts through the noise! You’d hear her everywhere in Belfast! It’s the same when we’re sparring in Dublin the coaches have to shush her. Ah it’s great, me and her are best friends. I would actually cut the medal in half and give her half of it, that’s how much she means. I’m disappointed for her that she didn’t come out here and create history together, that would have meant a lot to me but it’s just boxing, and we’ll come again for the next Olympics and try and create more history.

“I’m just so grateful. Everything is a bonus, but I just have so much in life and everything is just a bonus. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve all of this – it’s crazy. I’m lucky. Very, very lucky.”

Walsh now faces into an Olympic semi-final where he will meet a familiar foe in number one seed, Pat McCormack, of Great Britain.


Play has resumed here in Tokyo after an earlier 2.5 hour suspension for the golfers today due to a threat of lightning at Kasumigaseki Country Club during round 2 of the Men’s Individual Stroke Play.

Play was suspended in Tokyo for the golfers today due to a threat of lightning at Kasumigaseki Country Club during round 2 of the Men’s Individual Stroke Play.

Prior to the suspension, Team Ireland’s golfers were making their move up the leader board with Rory McIlroy 4-under for his round through 13 holes and Shane Lowry one shot further back after 12. The delay doesn’t seem to have affected their momentum however as both players resumed with birdies on the 13th and 14th holes respectively. Beginning the day tied for 20th McIlroy – now 8-under par in total – has moved into a tie for 2nd.

Mexican Carlos Ortiz leads the field on 9-under par, one shot ahead of Mito Pereira (Chile), Alex Noren (Sweden) and McIlroy.


Ireland’s quarter-final hopes will go down to the wire as Navneet Kaur’s 57th minute winning goal for India denied them what would have been a crucial point at the Oi Stadium, as they lost out 1-0 in the end.

The deflection from Rani Rampal’s reverse-stick cross finally broke the Irish defences as India eventually took advantage of their large volume of control on the game. Sean Dancer’s side defended heroically, with Ayeisha McFerran producing another slew of brilliant saves – but just as it looked like a vital draw was on the cards, India nicked their winner.

It means Ireland remains in fourth place on three points in the chase for the fourth quarter-final berth, just ahead of India on goal difference. India face bottom side South Africa while Ireland conclude their group against reigning champions, Great Britain.

Deirdre Duke played her 150th cap today and was disappointed with their performance: “It feels pretty irrelevant now to be honest, that was a game that we needed to win and we didn’t so that’s my overwhelming feeling. Quick turnaround tomorrow. Depending on other results now, that quarter final spot is still up for grabs, so we’re going to have to park this pretty quick and get ourselves up for a big one tomorrow.

“We pride ourselves on being pretty adaptable. It’s the same for both teams. We kind of settled for a little while. It was only an extra hour so we had a little more time to prepare – it wasn’t a factor, it’s the same for both teams, but we started a little slow.

“We win as a team and we lose as a team. We are going to have to regroup and take a look at ourselves individually but it is always a collective effort and we always rally together and we rally around each other. We go again tomorrow.”


Swimmer Daniel Wiffen was making headlines again this evening as he broke his second Irish Senior Record of the week, this time in the Men’s 1500m Freestyle, where he finished in a time of 15:07.69, breaking his own Irish Senior Record, and indeed, his Personal Best, by over 9 seconds.

Today’s swim follows up from a big Men’s 800m Freestyle swim from Wiffen earlier in the week and speaking on today’s race he said: “I’m ecstatic. I loved it. It was a fun race, I enjoyed it, taking it all in and got a nine-second PB as well!

“My target was to go and PB and try and get closer to the 15-minute barrier. I’m obviously closer now, seven seconds off. Tactic was just to get in, if there’s a racer, race with them. If not, I had to asses it during the race and pick it up if I wasn’t going fast enough.

“It’s [Tokyo] been great! I’ve been having so much fun here, I’m so happy to be here!”

Earlier in the session, Danielle Hill finished 6th in her Women’s 50m Freestyle heat in a time of 25:70, to see her finish out in 33rd position overall in a hugely competitive field that saw the talented Irish swimmer push hard all the way.

Speaking afterwards, Hill said: It’s all fast when it comes down to the 50m. I’m swimming against the fastest women in the world. Although I may be the fastest woman in Ireland, it’s a very different field out here. It was nice to gain that experience. As I said before I went in, you sit in the house and you watch the Olympics and this is the event that you want to do. It’s the one you want to be successful in. I’m not quite there yet, but I can walk away with a few things to improve and definitely looking forward to next year.

“I still don’t think it’s sunk in that I qualified six weeks ago. It’s been a whirlwind experience, right from trials in April through Europeans and second trials and now here. I don’t think I’ve had a chance at any point to breathe and take a step back. For anyone who knows the journey I have been on in the past two weeks just to get here and be standing is something that I can be proud of. It’s been a great experience, and I can’t wait for many more.”


Today was the second day of play at Kasumigaseki County Club at Tokyo 2020 for the Men’s Individual Stroke Play. Now at the halfway stage, both Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy have soared into contention, with a round of 65 for Lowry and 66 for McIlroy.

Overnight, the pair sat in tied 31st and tied 20th place respectively and were determined to make a move towards the medal positions, which will be awarded following the final round on Sunday. With some play from Round Two still to finish tomorrow – with play suspended this evening due to weather conditions – the Team Ireland duo are currently tied for 7th and right into the mix heading into the weekend.

“It felt good, it didn’t feel much different to yesterday,” said McIlroy, who opened with a round of 69. “I felt like I played well yesterday, I just didn’t score as good as I could have and I think that’s why I came off the course maybe not as disappointed as I would have been because I knew that the good golf was in there and it was nice to see some of that good golf today.”

Ranked 13th in the Official World Golf Rankings, McIlroy drove the green on the 294-yard par 4 6th, before sending his eagle attempt 15 feet by. Holing the return effort, it was the start of a nice run which saw him make the turn on 6-under par.

“It was a momentum starter, I three-putted that green yesterday so I was sort of thinking of that as well,” he laughed. “It was nice to hole that one coming back and it certainly gave me some momentum going to the 7th, that tee shot there was good and the eagle on the 8th was great. There are a few holes here that the length off the tee is an advantage and that is one of them.”

Once again weather played a factor and play was suspended due to lightning at 3.57am Irish time. Play resumed at 6.20am, and neither McIlroy’s nor Lowry’s momentum was dampened as they both carded birdies on the restart.

Play was suspended for a second time at 09.30am (Irish time), and will not be resumed this evening, so the Irish pairing will have to wait until tomorrow morning for the third round draw.

 More Updates To Follow – Team GB /Team Ireland