World University Games Weekend Report

Team Ireland at the World University Games.
Team Ireland at the World University Games.

It was a busy weekend for Team Ireland at the World University Games with the athletics, swimming and men’s and women’s football teams all in action.

Early on Saturday morning, and in temperature heading for the low 30s as the race progressed, DCU’s Cian McManamon finished 13th in the 20k walk.

On the track UCC’s Phil Healy finished 7th in the final of the 200ms while UCD’s Sarah Lavin narrowly missed out on a place in the 100m hurdles. Sarah was tied joint 8th with two other athletes, an Austrian and a French athlete, after the semi-finals but unfortunately for Sarah it was the Austrian who progressed to the final. UL’s Michelle Finn finished 14th in the 3,000m steeplechase final while University of New Mexico Matthew Bergin ran a really intelligent race in the men’s 5,000m semis finishing third fastest overall and progressing to Monday afternoon’s final.

IT Tralee’s Shona Heaslip and Queen’s Emma Mitchell both ran in the final of the 5,000m. In very tough conditions Emma finished 7th with Shona coming in in 11th with a lifetime best of 16.09.32 for the distance.

The swim team rounded off a successful competition with the men’s 4 x 100m medley finishing 8th in their final after qualifying 3rd fastest from the semis.

After a difficult week both the men’s and women’s football team had good wins over the weekend. After falling behind in the 32nd minute to Chinese Taipei UCD’s Jetta Berrill scored in the 89th minute to bring the game into extra time and eventually penalties. Amber Barrett (MU), Claire Kinsella and Rianna Jarrett (both IT Carlow), Jetta and Claire Walsh (UCD) all calmly converted their spot kicks and with UCC’s Eve Badana pulling off one fantastic save the Irish women won 5-3 on penalties. Colin Bell’s team now play our near neighbours Great Britain in the 9th – 10th play off in what will be the women’s team’s final match of the Games.

DCU’s Alan O’Sullivan bagged a hat trick with NUIG’s Gary Kinneen adding a fourth as the men’s football team beat the USA 4-1 in the 13th – 16th play off. Alan’s hat trick brings to six the total number of goals he has scored at the World University Games. He scored twice at the 2015 Gwangju Games and was also on target in the 2-1 win over Chinese Taipei in the group stage earlier in this tournament. Greg Yelverton’s team now progress to their final game of the competition, Tuesday’s 13th – 14th play off against Malaysia.