Belfast Telegraph

Commonwealth Games: 81 contenders fly flag for NI

NORTHERN Ireland’s 81 strong Commonwealth Games team was unveiled at a grand ceremony in the Waterfront Hall at the weekend.

The Delhi Games, from October 3-14, will see 71 teams compete over 17 sports and four para-sports. The NI Commonwealth Games Team is supported by Sport Northern Ireland whilst a number of athletes are part of the Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI).

Also launched was the new NI Commonwealth Games Council websiteat www.nicgc.org. Over the coming days it will provide information relating to athletes, venues, competition schedules etc. You will also be able to keep up to date with the latest news by joining us on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

Most of the team are participating in a residential weekend which will include team building along with key talks and information ahead of departing for the Games on September 27. There are a number of high profile athletes included in the team, many who have had a successful summer ahead of the Games.

SINI athlete Madeline Perry was the first Irish woman to win an Australian title when winning the Australian Open, one of the major tournaments in squash. Perry also won the Irish Open for the fourth time in August.

Paddy Barnes (SINI) was recently crowned European amateur champion when he won the gold medal at light-flyweight in Moscow. Barnes is only the sixth Irish boxer to secure gold at the championships and the first in 19 years. With an Olympic bronze from Beijing, the fiery light-flyweight is looking forward to the Commonwealth Games.

Northern Ireland's most successful athlete, quadruple Gold medalist (shooting) David Calvert, won the HM The Queen's Prize at Bisley in July.

In swimming, young Portaferry sensation Sycerika McMahon took bronze in the 400m freestyle final at the European Junior Championships in Helenski. She followed this up by taking gold in the 400m freestyle at the British Youth Swimming Championships in a new Irish Junior record time of 4.15.86.

Another Portaferry teenager who made the athletic headlines in July was middle distance ace Ciara Mageean. She ran the race of her life over 1500m in Canada to win a World Junior Silver Medal in a new personal best time.

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