Four times Irish sportswomen smashed it this summer 3 months ago

Four times Irish sportswomen smashed it this summer

Come on you girls in green!

It's been a big summer for women in sport. We may not have qualified for the Fifa Women's World Cup Finals, but elsewhere Irish sportswomen have been notching up historic wins across a wide range of sporting disciplines.

In athletics there were a number of firsts, including Kate O'Connor's silver medal win in the heptathlon at the European U20 Championships – the first time that an Irish woman won a Championship medal at any level of the seven-event sport. Sarah Healy also took home a silver medal from that tournament for the 1,500m. And fellow runners Eilish Flanagan and Nadia Power won silver and bronze respectively at the European Under-23 Championships in July.

Elsewhere, there were wins in sports ranging from boxing and badminton to sailing, while golfer Leona Maguire has been enjoying a good run of form.

This weekend there was a major display of support for the 20x20 campaign at Croke Park, followed by the news that modern penthalete Natalya Coyle had earned qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

With our celebrated hockey team set to line out at the Euro Championships in Antwerp next week, here we look at five of the biggest successes for Irish sportswomen in summer 2019...

1. Sanita Puspure wins gold

Rower Sanita Puspure got Ireland's winning summer off to a start on June 2, when she won a gold medal at the European Rowing Championships. The Latvian-Irish rower crossed the finish line first in the single sculls event at this year's championships in Lucerne, Switzerland. She also set a new European record, coming in a time of 7:23.18. After the race, Puspure, who is based in Ballincollig, told interviewers that she had not been feeling well in the week leading up to the race and was "absolutely blown away" to have won, let alone to have set a new record.

2. The Ultimate Frisbee Team make history

In July, the Irish women's ultimate frisbee team won gold at the European championships – bringing the high-flying sport to the attention of nation as they did. The team beat Switzerland 15-8 at final in Gyor, Hungary after a week-long competition. The squad was captained by Sarah Melvin and coached by Ian French. Their win was hailed by President Higgins, who tweeted: "My warmest congratulations to the Irish women's ultimate frisbee team on winning gold at the European championships – a wonderful milestone in the history of this fast-growing sport."

3. Rhasidat and Molly shine at the Youth Olympics

Rhasidat Adeleke proved herself to be the rising star of Irish athletics when she claimed not one but two gold medals at the European Youth Olympic Festival. The 16-year-old, who runs for Tallaght Athletic Club, pulled off a rare sprint double when she won both the 100m and 200m races. A Leaving Cert student, Rhasidat said after the race that it was a late decision to do both events and that the cheers from the Irish supporters in the stadium had helped to fuel her victory.

Elsewhere at the same tournament, swimmer Molly Mayne also celebrated double success, claiming bronze medals in both the 100m and 200m metres breaststroke. The 13-year-old from Terenure swam a personal best time over the shorter distance.

4. The U20 Basketball Team take home a bronze

 

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Wait for it! What a shot by Enya Maguire ?? Ireland under-20s through to the semi finals ?? @20x20.ie #20x20

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There was history made on the baskeball court this week, where the Irish women's U20 team won not only a bronze medal but a promotion to Division A for next year. The Irish squad held off the Great Britain team to claim third place in the European Championships with a three-point win. The team's quarter final clash with Croatia will be remembered for a remarkable piece of skill by Ulster Elks player Enya Maguire who used a cheeky rebound to secure a crucial score.