It’s been a stunning start for Team Ireland at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Niamh Coyne produced a spectacular performance in the 100m breaststroke to claim silver and become Ireland’s first ever swimming medallist at the Youth Olympic Games.
There have also been other remarkable performances from the Irish athletes who have stepped to compete on the world stage and do not look out of place. The Olympic Federation of Ireland sent a team of 16 athletes from 9 different sports to compete in the competition which runs from October 6th – October 18th.
The Irish squad over in Buenos Aires are made up of 11 female athletes competing in swimming, gymnastics, diving, athletics, boxing, golf and tennis.
Niamh Coyne and Mona McSharry are the two Irish female swimming representatives. The pair are both competing in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, whilst McSharry is also competing in the 50m freestyle.
Coyne (Tallagh Swim Team) and McSharry (Marlins Swim Club) have both been in stunning form despite the unusual timing of the competition. The pair would usually only be starting their swimming season however the timing of the games means they are in full competition mode. Despite this, the pair have shown no signs of a lack of sharpness as they were desperately unlucky not to secure a podium finish in their first final of the Games. Coyne secured 4th (31.96) whilst McSharry placed 5th (32. 02) in the 50m breaststroke.
In their following final, Niamh Coyne swam a magnificent last 25m to claim a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke. The 17-year-old bagged her place on the podium in a time of 1.08.90. Sligo’s Mona McSharry can count herself unlucky not to have joined her Irish teammate on the podium. She led for the majority of the race but narrowly missed out on third by 0.02 seconds.
McSharry, the Ballyshannon Marlins swimmer, produced one of the finest displays of the games in the 50m freestyle as she set a new Irish senior record, qualifying with the second fastest time. Finishing in a time of 25.42, the Sligo swimmer will be keen to replicate her swim in the final which takes place tonight.
All the action can be watched live here.