Something very Special
MAYO athletes won 40 gold medals, 29 silver and 16 bronze at the recent Special Olympics National Games held in Limerick.
According to calculations by Teresa Ward of Western Care, local participants in the hugely successful event also won six Challenge Award medals for the Motor Activities Training Programme, and there were a host of well-placed competitors as 54 athletes from the county ‘shared the feeling’.
In aquatics, James Edward Gough (Cluainin Day Centre) won a gold medal, as did Áine Kilroe (Ridgepool). Katie-Tara Murphy (St Dympna’s Special School, Ballina) won gold in the 10m assisted swim, while Robert Alexander Boyd (St Dympna’s Special School) took silver in the 25m freestyle.
Charlotte Devine (Westport SOC) won three aquatics medals – silver in the 25m freestyle, silver in the 50m medley, and bronze in the breaststroke (achieving a personal best in the process). Maitiu Quinn (Westport) took gold in the breaststroke, gold in the freestyle and silver in the 25m relay, while Amber Walsh (Westport) won gold in the backstroke, silver in the 25m relay and finished fifth in the freestyle. Carmel Delaney (Ballyhaunis TC) also participated in aquatics.
In track and field athletics, Cain Moore (Westport SOC) won gold in the 100m, bronze in the 200m, and gold as part of a relay team. Michael Durkan (Ridgepool) also won a gold medal as part of a relay team, and bronze in the 100 metres. Seán Gordon (Ridgepool) brought a silver medal in the 50m walk and bronze in the 25m walk. Darragh Patrick Forde (St Dympna’s Special School) won gold in the 100m and silver in the soft ball throw, while Caitlin O’Hara Walsh won two gold medals, in the 400m walk and the javelin. Delia Finn (Ballyhaunis TC) won gold in the soft ball throw and finished fourth in the 50m run.
Members of Claremorris SOC also enjoyed their weekend competing in track and field. Aoife Beston won three gold medals – for javelin, the 5000m run and as a member of the relay team; Irma Folliard took silver in the javelin and finished fourth in the 50m walk; Pádraig Prendergast won gold in the javelin, silver in the 800m run and gold as a team of the relay team; Niamh Waldron took silver in the 50m run and bronze in the javelin; Eric Kilcourse won gold as a member of the relay team, while Mark Walsh won silver in the 100m run and as a member of the relay team, adding a bronze in the long jump.
Meanwhile, Swinford SOC members also made their mark in athletics. Enda Hegarty won gold medals in the 100m and 200m runs, and silver as part of the relay team; Tony Lynagh took gold in the 800m walk and silver in the 400m walk; Damien McDonnell won two gold medals – in the javelin and the 800m walk; Garrett McDonnell took gold medals in the 5000m (in a time of 19.07), the 1500m and as part of the 4x400m relay team; Jack Jones won gold in the 50m walk and silver in the soft ball, while Brian Slevin took bronze in the shot putt and finished eighth in the 100m.
Others to make a big impression for Swinford SOC were Mary Slevin (pitch and putt), fellow golfer Michael McGreebey, Aiden Mulroy who won a silver medal playing soccer, and Mary T Brady who won silver in both the soft ball throw and 100m walk.
Castlebar SOC enjoyed plenty of success in kayaking. Deirdre Garvin won a silver medal and had a fourth-place finish; Lisa Murray got two silver medals; Mary Reilly landed two bronze; Bridget Walsh returned home with gold and bronze medals, while Seán Salmon won gold and silver medals.
Castlebar Strikers SOC members excelled in the bowling events. Matt T O’Malley won gold in the team event and finished fourth in the singles, as did Keira Joyce, while Brenda Joyce won gold in the team event and got silver in the singles.
Martina Walsh from the club came home with two medals in bowling, a silver in the singles and a gold in the doubles.
Members of Rehab Castlebar also made their mark in bowling – Cathal Finn won silver in the doubles and finished fifth in the singles; Rachel Gielty took silver in the doubles and bronze in the singles; Aoife Keane got a bronze medal in the singles and was fourth in the doubles, while Martin Murray got silver in the singles and bronze in the doubles.
Thomas Campbell also took gold in the bowling team event.
Competing in bocce, Caitriona McLoughlin of Rehab Castlebar won gold in the singles and silver in the team event.
Joseph Stack of Castlebar Table Tennis won gold in both the singles and doubles, while his club-mate Paul McEllin also took gold in the doubles and finished fourth in the singles. Kevin Jones (Swinford SOC) finished in sixth place in the table tennis.
In basketball, Fergal Birrane (Ballina) secured a gold medal as a member of Team Connacht, while Aileen O’Hara and Una O’Malley (Ballina) took bronze medals.
Caroline Walsh (Ridgepool) took two Challenge Award medals in the Motor Activities Training Programme, as did John Scully (Swinford SOC). John Healy (Ballyhaunis TC) also won a Challenge Award medal.
Mayo’s Special (Olympics) weekend in Limerick
Something very Special