Rowers Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty have become Ireland’s first medallists at the Tokyo Olympics.
Ireland clinched bronze in the women’s coxless four rowing event, finishing behind first-placed Australia and second-placed Netherlands and ahead of Great Britain in fourth.
The Irish quartet didn’t start well in the final race, but a strong finish proved to be enough for the four to clinch the bronze medal, becoming first Irishwomen to win a medal in rowing at the Olympics in doing so.
Our Olympic Medalists!
First female athletes to win an Olympic Medal in rowing for Ireland 🥉🥉🥉🥉
— Rowing Ireland (@RowingIreland) July 28, 2021
‘Even though we were down, we knew to back ourselves.’
The four were speaking to RTE after their history-making finish, with Eimear Lambe revealing that they always believed in themselves despite the less-than-ideal start.
“We knew we definitely had a chance going into it but we had a bit of a rocky start there, so we definitely didn’t make it easy for ourselves. We just didn’t give up really,” Lambe explained.
“I feel like everyone else’s strategy was to put as much distance between us at the start as they could, which they did.
“We know we’re a very aerobic crew to be honest, so the second K would usually be our strongest point. Even though we were down, we knew to back ourselves and trust it.”
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— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 28, 2021
Irish quartet pave the way for bright Olympic future after bronze medal.
While they had just created history, Emily Hegarty was already thinking of Ireland winning more medal’s in women’s rowing at the Olympics in the future.
“It’s a bit surreal to be honest. It’s something for the future definitely and hopefully this will be the first of many,” Hegarty said.
“Hopefully it gives the young girls coming up now real hope that it’s completely possible. If we can do it anyone can.”