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Annalise Murphy Is The Olympics Hero We Needed On An Otherwise Grim Day For Irish Sport

Annalise Murphy Is The Olympics Hero We Needed On An Otherwise Grim Day For Irish Sport
By Donny Mahoney Updated

Ireland needed a hero this grim Tuesday afternoon when the dark underworld of sport reared its ugly head. Over its sporting history, Ireland has a far more storied reputation in the squared circle than open seas, but when we needed her most, Annalise Murphy stood up to claim her place in the pantheon of Irish Olympians and became the first Irish woman to medal in sailing.

You might have forgotten the sport of laser radial from the heady days of London 2012 but no doubt Annalise spent much of the last four years on the open waters pondering how it all went wrong in that final race. A medal was in her grasp until it all went wrong. She had an extra 24 hours to stew over it when the seas started acting up yesterday. It must have been agonising.

But she had done her homework. She'd spent so much time in Rio, learning those waters.

And today, when it all counted, she delivered in grand style, finishing 5th, and keeping her main rivals at arms length. She's the third (okay, fourth) female medalist in Irish Olympics history, and more importantly in the short term, she's given us something to cheer about on an otherwise terrible day for Irish sport.

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It was a silver medal four years in the making.

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