28 June 2021
By Roger Jones
Sporting fans of the world rejoice! The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are almost upon us. While they had to be moved a whole year because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the chances of there being no games was a lingering yet mute idea at the end. Ireland, which for Olympics odds experts is looking like a clear favorite to snag up at least 6 Olympic medals in total, between gold, silver and bronze are preparing for what promises to be their most success ridden trip to the Olympics in history.
So what can we expect from the Irish Olympics team in Tokyo 2020? Let’s take a look.
Ireland’s Team Will Be The Biggest To Date
Ireland will be looking to have their biggest representation of athletes in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games. While the previous record of attendance for the Irish National Olympics Team was of 81 athletes for the 1948 games hosted in London, for Tokyo 2020 Ireland is looking towards having a representation of 100+ athletes, all bidding to make their best performances in their respective disciplines. It is expected for there to be an Irish representative in 15 disciplines at least, if not more depending on late qualifications.
One thing that has been a daunting task and mission in itself to ensure that the Ireland representation at the Tokyo 2020 games has been to make sure all athletes participating have been cleared from the implications that the COVID-19 pandemic have brought upon the Olympics world. Vaccination programs as well as daily testing for athletes have been made a priority in order to guarantee that the chances of having a positive COVID-19 case in the delegation are slim to none.
As for Olympic medal hopes, the Irish team is looking well on their way to being able to try and break their record of six medals from the 2012 games. Sculling and equestrian-show jumping stand out as the main categories in which Ireland could definitely be seeing their chances for winning gold be at its strongest point. Boxing, equestrian-eventing riding and gymnastics-pommel horse looking as clear options for silver and bronze. If all predictions are correct, putting Ireland with a total of at least six medals, it would place Ireland very close to the Top 40 of competing teams and it would mark a definite improvement from their two medal performance in Rio 2016.
On The Gold, Expect Greatness From Sanita Puspure
If there’s one athlete in which Ireland’s hopes for an Olympic gold medal can reside and live in strength is Sanita Puspure. After coming short of the gold in London 2012 and Rio 2016 but with Two World Championship titles under her belt as well as two gold medals in the European Championships, the single sculls athlete looks as poised as ever to take the gold in her discipline.
At 39-years old if Sanita Puspure is to win the gold she would become the first ever Irish female athlete to take home a gold medal in the rowing discipline. While analysts have spoken that the delay of the games might end up causing her the gold, Puspure’s talent and ability speak louder and will definitely end up being the driving force behind Ireland’s biggest hope for a gold medal in the upcoming games.
Sculls, Gymnastics and Boxing, Silver and Bronze Hopefuls
While Ireland’s biggest hope for collecting a gold medal in the upcoming games resides on the performances of Sanita Puspure, other sculling hopefuls are also in an active hunt for medals. Analysts and experts have predicted that Ireland’s medal haul will be one to two gold medals, one silver medal and two bronze medals. Scull rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, even after coming out on top of the European Championships beating out their probable main competition in the games like Germany, Italy and France are expected to win a silver medal for Ireland.
While for the bronze, the medal hopes fall on the boxing talents of lightweight boxer Kellie Harrington. The boxer will be the number one seed female boxer for the Irish representation and she is expected to come out with at least a bronze medal performance. The other bronze medal hopes fall on the laps of equestrian-eventing individual rider Padraig McCarthy with his horse Mr. Chunky and all around pommel gymnast Rhys McClenaghan who is expected to perform at a medal winning level after his performances in the 2018 European Championship where he won the gold and his 2019 World Championships performance where he won the bronze for his country.