Young Irish stars from rowing, triathlon and tennis will kick start Ireland’s challenge for Olympic medals on the opening day of competition at the inaugural World Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on Sunday (Aug 15th).
Skibbereen sculler Denise Walsh, Lurgan tri-athlete Laura Casey and tennis star John Morrissey, who recently joined the world senior tennis rankings, will face serious opposition on the opening day. In particular, Morrissey, from Donnybrook Tennis Club will play the highly ranked Diego Acosta from Equador in the singles event.
With over 3,500 of the world’s best young athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 competing, Ireland will be represented in eight sports: athletics, boxing, girls hockey, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, tennis and triathlon.
Monday next (Aug 16) sees the Irish girls hockey team taking on the powerful Dutch team and next day they face the medal favourites New Zealand.
High hopes for medal success lie with our two boxers, world youth gold medallist Joe Ward from Moate Boxing Club and silver medallist Ryan Burnett from Holy Family BC, Belfast.
Other medal prospects are road walker Kate Veale from West Waterford and middle distance athletics star, Mark English from Letterkenny.
The first ever World Youth Olympic Games will run from 15 to 26 August. They will feature exciting new sporting events, cultural and educational activities and will use social media extensively to reach out to interest of young people around the world.
In addition to top-class competition in the sports seen on the programme of the regular Olympic Games, spectators will be treated to some exciting new events, including 3-on-3 basketball, head-to-head canoe and kayak, and cycling combined (BMX/mountain bike/road).
Jack McGouran, Olympic Council of Ireland. 086 856 2649