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Northern Ireland's Athens winners strike Gold

Northern Ireland's representatives at the Special Olympics in Athens are making a huge impact, despite the ongoing disruption in the Greek capital.

The hosts of the 13th Summer Games may have been thrown into turmoil with general strike action - but there have been few setbacks to the Special Olympics, where local competitors have been shining.

Donaghadee horse-rider Steven Yetman yesterday won gold in Equitation, adding to his bronze in the Dressage event on Tuesday, and bringing Northern Ireland's medal tally for the Games so far to a total of eight.

His achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he only began riding competitively three years ago. And with more competitive action to come on Friday, the Yetman family, who are in Athens, will be confident of more success for their son.

The impressive gold trail got underway on Tuesday with Lisburn gymnast Pauline Connell topping two events as well as landing three silver medals.

Hailing from the Salto Special Olympics Club in south Belfast, Pauline has set the standard for her clubmates and rival competitors.

Newry bowler Ciaran Mallon added a fourth gold medal in the men's Bowling Doubles, while Joyce Haughian from Newry managed to pick up a silver medal in the Ten Pin Bowling Doubles event.

Also of note was Lisburn's Oliver Magee, who with his teammates, came a creditable fourth place in a tightly-fought Bocce Team Competition.

Belfast Telegraph