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Team Ireland heading home with stunning 86 medal haul

 

Class act: Peadar Connolly claimed a silver medal
Class act: Peadar Connolly claimed a silver medal

By Steve Simpson

Team Ireland, including 21 Ulster athletes, has emerged victorious with an incredible haul of 86 medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

Having secured 30 gold, 29 silver and 27 bronze medals across a variety of sports, Team Ireland athletes have had huge success in what has been a remarkable week of sport.

Lisburn's Sarah Louise Rea (19) won badminton gold and said: "I'm having an amazing time, it's thrilling. I've been able to come here, play my best and be who I am and not change."

Also in badminton, John Doyle (34) from Gorey, Co Wexford and Mary Daly (44) from Delvin, Co Westmeath triumphed with a bronze in mixed doubles.

Swimmer Emma Carlisle (23) from Ballygowan bagged one of the final gold medals for Team Ireland with a fantastic performance in the 100m freestyle that followed a bronze earlier this week.

Peadar Connolly (32) from Newry claimed silver in the 200m backstroke, beating his personal best by eight seconds.

In golf, claiming gold for Team Ireland were Simon Lowry from Loughrea, Co Galway plus Dublin's Mark Claffey, John Keating and Andrew Simington, with playing partner Phyl Kelleher.

Co Clare's Mairead Moroney (69) - the oldest athlete at the Games - and playing partner Jean Molony claimed a silver medal.

Scarva golfer Jill Connery (33) received a fourth-place ribbon, having scored an incredible hole in one.

There was pentathlon silver for Conor Meade from Stillorgan; 400m walk silver for Gary O'Sullivan from Kerry; mini javelin bronze for Lucy Dollard of Kilkenny; 100m bronze for Roy Saville from Mayfield, Co Cork; and 4x100m relay bronze for Saville, Meade, Brendan Maguire of Castlemartyr and Dublin's Alan Power.

Eimear Gannon (22) from Dublin claimed bronze medals in ball, hoops, clubs and ribbon gymnastics events, leading to a fourth-place ribbon as all round athlete.

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