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Let the Games begin

Conlan, Barnes and Chambers boys out to strike gold

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland Olympic heroes Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes and the Chambers brothers, Richard and Peter, are intent on striking gold in Rio.

The fab four made the podium four years ago in London with the Belfast boxers winning bronze medals and the rowing siblings from Coleraine claiming silver treasure. They want a different colour this time and are Northern Ireland's best hopes to return home as Olympic champions.

If succesful they would join legendary athlete Dame Mary Peters and hockey heroes Stephen Martin and Jimmy Kirkwood on an illustrious list of our Olympic gold medallists at the summer Games.

World Amateur bantamweight champion Conlan says: "I really do believe that I will win in Rio and bring back a gold medal to Belfast."

Light-flyweight Barnes, who carried the Irish flag at last night's opening ceremony, stated: "I'm only here for one thing, to become Olympic champion."

Today Peter Chambers will begin his 2016 Olympic campaign in the lightweight four event while elder brother Richard starts tomorrow in the lightweight double sculls.

He said: "We want to win gold this time."

Yesterday Belfast archer Patrick Huston was the first member of Team GB to compete in the Games finishing 38th in qualifying with head to head contests to come.

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