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Posts Tagged ‘ Katie Taylor ’

2012 Irish Sport Review

kbKieran Behan defied the odds to become the second ever Irish gymnast to qualify for the Olympics despite expectations that he would never walk again.

Connacht recorded their first ever victory in the Heineken Cup with a 9-8 win over Harlequins, but still finished bottom of their group.

Ireland kicked off their Six Nations campaign with a 21-23 defeat to Wales which was followed by a 42-10 victory over Italy.

Irish rugby fans were left stranded in Paris following late cancellation of France vs Ireland in the Six Nations.

Galway native Richard Donovan broke his own world record in Sydney, Australia as he ran seven marathons in the space of four days, 22 hours and four minutes.

The rescheduled Six Nations game against France ended in a 17-17 draw. The remaining fixtures were a 32-14 win over Scotland and finally a disastrous St. Patrick’s Day for the national side as they were beaten 30-9 by England.

Cork landed their third Allianz Football League Division One title in a row with a 2-10 0-11 victory over Mayo.

Irish-born Aussie Rules hall of famer Jim Stynes passed away at the age of 45 after losing his battle with cancer.

Kilkenny hammered Galway 3-26 to 0-10 to land National Hurling League Division One title.

Crusaders won the Setanta Sports Cup following a 5-4 victory on penalties against Derry City. The game was level at 2-2 after extra-time.

Katie Taylor won her fourth consecutive Amateur World Championship, beating Russian opponent Sofya Ochigava who she would later face in an historic sporting occasion.

Leinster landed the Heinken Cup after a 42-14 win over Ulster at Twickenham.

The Republic of Ireland crashed out of the Euro 2012 group stages as they failed to pick up a single point and scored just one goal. They were beaten 3-1 by Croatia, 4-0 by Spain and 2-0 by Italy.

The Airtricity League Premier Division lost another club as Monaghan United drop out due to financial reasons.

Cork, Dublin, Donegal and Mayo won their respective provincial Gaelic football titles

Tipperary, Galway and Antrim won their respective provincial Hurling titles.

Katie Taylor won gold for Ireland at the London Olympics. She recorded impressive victories over Great Britain’s Natasha Jonas and Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva before meeting Ochigava in a tightly contested Final which saw the Bray native triumph by a score of 10-8.ktJohn-Joe Nevin picked up silver while Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes won bronze in boxing at the London Olympics.

Cian O’Connor secured a bronze medal with his horse in the Individual Jumping event.

There was further success in London in the following weeks as the Irish Paralympic team returned home with a tally of 16 medals, their highest total since picking up 42 medals at the 1988 games in Seoul. They won 8 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 5 bronze medals.

jmcDonegal outshone Mayo to win their first All-Ireland title in 20 years. Jim McGuinness’ incredible year as Donegal manager did not go unnoticed abroad and he was handed a role as a performance consultant at Celtic just weeks later.

Kilkenny beat Galway in a replay of the All-Ireland Hurling Final to secure yet another title.

The Republic of Ireland avoided an embarrassing opening to their World Cup Qualifiers Group as they score two late goals to take three points away from Kazakhstan.

Drogheda United won the EA Sports Cup following a 3-1 victory over Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.

Sligo Rovers won their first League of Ireland title since 1977 after beating fellow title contenders St. Patrick’s Athletic in a dramatic game as Mark Quigley’s 87th minute penalty proved to be the decisive goal.

Limerick were promoted to the top tier of Irish football for the first time in 19 years.

The Republic of Ireland suffered one of its heaviest ever defeats as Germany hammered them 6-1 at the Aviva Stadium. The Boys in Green respond with a 4-1 win away to the Faroe Islands days later.

dcfcDerry City were crowned as the FAI Ford Cup Champions following a 3-2 win over St. Patrick’s Athletic after extra-time.

Gaelic football loses one of its all-time greats as Kerry hero Paidi O’Se passes away aged 57.

By Alan Finn

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News in Brief-Unsafe Water,Ronan Seeks To Cash In On Marriage Blues And Ireland Prepares To Welcome Katie Home

Water way to start the week in Dublin. Thousands of people in the North of the city were notified that their water was unsafe for drinking on Tuesday after a routine test on Sunday showed the supply to be contaminated with bacteria. Water tankers were brought in to provide residents of the St Lawrence supply zone and the council hopes to have the problem resolved by the end of the week.

         Katie Taylor will be bringing a big lump of metal back into the country following her win in ladies light-weight boxing at London 2012. The Wicklow woman will return to a big party, the planning of which is already underway, let’s hope she’s not a light-weight out of the ring.
          The Labour Party’s Intercultural Group has called for those employed in public roles to attend “sensitivity training”. This would include judges and councillors that have to deal with the public on a frequent basis. The call comes after Judge Mary Devins branded state welfare a ‘Polish charity’. Firm plans for what this training would involve have not been outlined, although Karen McCormack, co-chairperson of the group highlighted the importance of language, the fecker. To save the time and money this would obviously involve let us all remember the well-worn phrase of our mothers; if you’ve nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.
          Terence Ming Flanagan could do with heeding this advice. The controversial TD has been criticised this week for a ’viscious, unprovoked, verbal attack’ on Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett in the corridors of Leinster House. On being asked to publicly apologise, Ming took to his Facebook page to further insult Mr Barrett suggesting he enjoys ’guzzling pints’ – handbags at Dail!
         Ronan Keating has claimed that leaving his wife of fourteen years Yvonne has given him back his music muse. Blaming his unhappy marriage on being unable to write a hit, Keating is now looking forward to turning his marriage crash into hard cash. It’s a bit unfair to blame the ex-missus he couldn’t write many hits before he married her either.
And finally Ryan Tubridy has got himself a Vespa. Downgrading from his regular Jaguar Saloon the RTE figurehead’s pay has also been downgraded by thirty percent. But he won’t let that get him down, or get in his way scooting about the city telling the tabloids ‘he’s totally OK with it’. That would be because of all the mountains of cash he’s already earnt and is still earning even after a thirty percent cut. Would he be so blasé on benefits?

Katie Hoping To Beat Outspoken Opponent And Win The Gold

Katie Taylor will aim to win Ireland’s first gold medal in boxing in 20 years this afternoon when she competes in the final of the women’s lightweight category at London 2012.

The nation will come to a standstill as Taylor takes on Russia’s Sofya Ochigava at the ExCeL Arena at 4:45pm.

Thousands of people are expected to gather in Bray to watch the fight, which comes one day after the hometown hero sealed her route to the final with a stunning win over Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva .

The Russian has lost twice to Taylor in recent finals but will aim to make it third time lucky after her defeats at the 2011 European Championships and this year’s world championships. Ochigava expressed her concerns that the judges might favour the Irish boxer, saying that Taylor’s first round opponent Natasha Jonas suffered at the hands of the judges.

“She is one of the best, but she is just another boxer. In my opinion Natasha Jonas won the first two rounds against her, but the judges didn’t see it that way,” Ochigava said after beating Brazil’s Adriana Araujo 17-11 in her semi-final

“When you fight Katie you are already minus 10 points. You are fighting the judges and the whole system and they will try to give her too many points.”

Regardless of her feelings towards the judges, Ochigava, who also reached the final in clinical fashion, will certainly be up against an Irish crowd who smashed the record for the loudest roar of the Games on Monday.

Katie who has been vividly struck by the atmosphere during her matches said “It’s amazing. To have a chance to box for a gold medal tomorrow is incredible. It’s incredible to have 10,000 Irish people screaming for you, it feels like I’m boxing at home in Dublin. Hopefully I can make everyone proud.”

The Olympic Opening Ceremony, Britain’s latest Bond Girl and a rather bizarre tribute to the NHS!

According to the BBC last night they had an audience share of 82%, with ratings soaring to 27 million during the three and a half hour spectacle. Despite the extortionate viewing figures, we can all admit that the level of hype and the highest level of secrecy surrounding the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony sparked our curiosity and drove the majority of us to tune in last night to what was undoubtedly at times one of the most atypical ceremonies ever witnessed.

£27million for the creation of Danny Boyle’s highly anticipated spectacle, but was it worth it?

As most adoring Olypmic fans and Brits praised the creative showpiece, I for one am not in total agreement that the Olympic Opening Ceremony truly was magnificent.

As the titles rolled and we sat in anticipation for what was definitely a memorable beginning to any Olympic Games, and as Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins rang the Olympic Bell I wondered what would lie in store. Was I the only one who thought school was out for the summer, only to feel like I’d been summoned to my living room chair for a British history lesson courtesy of Danny Boyle. However, despite this busy showcase, I urged myself to keep watching if only to see Katie Taylor lead the Irish Team into the Olympic Stadium. As my knowledge on the industrial revolution was restored and the inclusion of Sir Kenneth Branagh reading from Shakespeare’s The Tempest , I firmly believed that that opening ceremony could only get better, not so, as a rather bizarre tribute to the NHS ensued. I wondered what befit its place in this show, as they celebrated the NHS, up popped Harry Potter characters, and down came an influx of Mary Poppins. Was I dreaming?  Unfortunately, I wasn’t, as the peculiarities were set to continue.

Just as we began to come to terms with what we were visualising, Daniel Craig appeared on the big screen as his 007 character with Britain’s latest, and possibly oldest bond girl to date, the Queen herself. She made a cameo appearance in a comical sketch filmed at Buckingham Palace culminated by her arrival into the Olympic Stadium seemingly parachuting from an overhead helicopter with the James Bond star. As stuntsman Gary Connery makes his landing wearing a similar dress to her majesty, and the camera quickly turns on the Queen who walks into the Stadium. Yes, Danny you fooled the world there with a stunt like that!

The ceremony moved to celebrate music and social media with dance performances which included the appearance of Dizzee Rascal.  Chariots of Fire was announced as the next musical composition to be played by the orchestra, only to see Rowan Akinson’s infamous character Mr Bean, take part in the composition in a satirical manner.  Confused? Yes, me too, not quite sure why his presence was required.  Apparently his comedy is well received across the globe, well if that’s the case; why not throw him into the opening ceremony too.

Next David Beckham appeared on a speedboat travelling on the final leg of the journey with the Olympic torch. Perhaps this move a little more comprehendible as he himself is a globally renowned sporting figure.

Was I the only one who thought that the antics of the Opening Ceremony were a little bizarre? Perhaps I’m one of the few honest enough to admit that it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, and perhaps putting on view Britain’s well known faces for comedy sketches doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with this sporting event. Was it all a mere ploy to showcase some of Britain’s most beloved celebrities? In truth, I’m not sure. Nor am I sure what Danny Boyle’s logic was in the creation of this spectacle. One thing’s for sure it did make the global headlines.

The Guardian hailed Boyle’s ‘masterpiece’ as ‘the biggest, maddest, weirdest, most heartfelt and lovable dream sequence in British cinema history’. The Mirror did notice that ‘it was hard to think of any British icon it didn’t reference’, whilst the New York Times described it as ‘visually stunning’.

For me however, it wasn’t the spectacle and the famous faces that made the night quite stunning. Instead for me, it was seeing each country enter the Olympic Stadium with the flag holder leading their country and their country’s athletes following behind. The sense of pride which lit their eyes, and the happiness that filled their faces was no comedy sketch; it was a natural reaction to the honour bestowed on them to represent their country in the 2012 Olympic Games. It was a culmination of their talent; hard work and dedication that had resulted in each one of them walking into that stadium last night.

Watching on and reading the reviews today, it felt that the most salient part of the Opening Ceremony, the introduction of the countries and their athletes to the Olympic Stadium, had been overlooked as all eyes were on some mad spectacle set to honour celebrities and not the true heroes that were present to represent us all. Whilst Daniel Craig may be the most handsome Bond we’ve had in long time, and whilst David Beckham gets better looking with age, they were not what our eyes should have been fixated on last night, it was the athletes. The fact that the media are heralding the involvement of British celebrities in the ceremony saddens me.

What saddens me even more, is the criticism the unknown young athletes who received the Olympic torch from Sir Steve Redgrave and brought it on it’s final journey to light the cauldron was deemed an ‘anti-climax’ by many across various media outlets.

John Cherwa from the LA Times wrote ‘Hated the flame lighting. Just make a decision and pick someone’.  Some went so far as to say letting seven people light the cauldron was a cop out, and that it should have been lit by a person ‘people have heard of’.  Again a reminder that we live in a celebrity crazed world that wanted a ‘famous face’ taking the torch on it’s final hurdle. The point missed by so many is that it was seven young people who had been nominated by renowned sporting figures and athletes, who wanted to inspire the new generation.  Sport is a wonderful thing; it is something comprehendible no matter your race, religion or background. It brings people together, it requires real dedication, personal commitment, motivation, ambition and passion; characteristics that can inspire us all. The lightening of the cauldron was an act to inspire the next generation, the folk that sat in their living room tuning into the Opening Ceremony with similar dreams as those, that the athletes possessed, that were presented to us tonight. Reminding us that we can dream big, and that one day we too could inspire another generation.

The ceremony concluded with the Queen officially declaring them open ‘I declare open the Games of London, celebrating the 30th Olympiad of the modern era’ and Sir Paul Mc Cartney singing Hey Jude, as a scene of breathtaking fireworks lit the London sky line, Danny Boyle tweeted ‘Proud to be British’, I tweeted ‘Proud to be Irish’. Seeing Katie Taylor wave our flag, followed by the Irish contingent filled me with pride…for me, they were the true heroes of last night, alas, I can watch Daniel Craig on the big screen any day!

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