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How Team Ireland Is Shaping Up For The Paris Olympics: Spring 2023 Edition

How Team Ireland Is Shaping Up For The Paris Olympics: Spring 2023 Edition
John Dodge
By John Dodge
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(Updated 21 July)

Qualifying for the 2024 Olympics is now well underway in all sports. We're here to track them all as they make their way through qualifying tournaments, chasing points, chasing times and doing all they can to get to Paris. Here's the latest,

Athletics (4)

Qualifying for the track and field events only opened on July 1st and already Ireland has seen several qualifiers. Sarah Lavin was first in the 100m hurdles.  In mid-July, Brian Fay (5,000m) and Andrew Coscoran (1,500m) broke Irish records on consecutive days to quaify in their events. Our brightest star, Rhasidat Adeleke, announced she was turning professional and promptly qualified in the 200m event. She may not race that in Paris, with her blistering 400m time putting her into medal contention.

The World Championships are in Budapest in August and Ireland has the following qualified so far: Adeleke (200m, 400m), Louise Shanahan (800m), Ciara Mageean (800m, 1,500m), Sarah Healy (1,500m), Andrew Coscoran (1,500m), David Kenny (20km walk), Brendan Boyce (35km) and our mixed 4x400m relay squad. Another 8-10 are likely to be added through the ranking system if they don't achieve the (tough) qualifying marks.



Tokyo Olympian Nhat Nguyen hasn't really kicked on since those games but he should have no problem qualifying for Paris - the rankings started on May 1st.  Ireland has qualified Rachael Darragh , the men's double of Joshua Magee & Paul Reynolds, the women's double of Kate Frost & Moya Ryan and the mixed double of Joshua Magee and Moya Ryan (15th) for the European Games, but they all have work to do to make the Olympics.

Boxing (5)

The first opportunity for Ireland's most successful Olympic sport to qualify was the European Games and they were pretty successful for the team. Olympic champion Kellie Harrington and middleweight Aoife O'Rourke both won gold to win tickets to their second Games. They are joined in the women's team with another returning Olympian in Michaela Walsh. Welterweight Amy Broadhurst was disappointed not to make it and she has posted on her social media that she may not continue in the amateur ranks.

The men's team qualified two boxers with heavyweight Jack Marley having the toughest route. The Dubliner needed to make the final in Poland to become our first heavyweight Olympian since 1996. Sligo's Dean Clancy qualified at light welterweight. The team will have chances to go for more spots in world qualifying events in early 2024.



Ireland's 3 international slalom canoeists; Liam Jegou, Jake Cochrane and Robert Hendrick need to finish in the top 12 nations at the world championships in September to qualify. If they repeat the performances of 2022, they'll be in. We sent a team of 8 paddlers to the European games for the slalom events with the Corcoran sisters representing on the women's side. Our leading sprint canoeist is Jenny Egan but she excels in the longer non-Olympic distances and won't qualify.


Thanks to the sterling efforts of Ben Healy in the early season classics and then by Healy and Eddie Dunbar, Ireland has vaulted up the UCI Olympic ranking and currently sits in 16th place. Nations who are ranked 11th-20th will be allowed two spots in the Olympic Road Race for men. The nations ranked 21st-45th will have one spot. There's a long way to go but two spots are definitely in play. Ireland's women have never been more prominent in road racing than they are at the moment with Mia Griffin competing at World Tour level and Megan Armitage winning races for her Arkea team. We have only ever had one Olympic road race participant - Deirdre Murphy in 2000 - but we're currently ranked in the top 45 nations and on course to qualify for one spot in Paris. It will be tight though.

The women's track pursuit team are well on course to qualify. They finished in the top 5 at the European Championships and the opening two World Cup events this year and with 10 team spots available for Paris, only a disaster will stop them now. Qualifying for the team pursuit also allows Ireland to compete in the Madison and Omnium events. 2022 saw Ryan Henderson emerge in BMX freestyle/park. He finished 10th at the European championships but unfortunately broke his arm at the World Championships. He could be an outside shot for a spot in Paris.



Ireland sent a 3 person team to the World Championships in Japan. Clare Cryan came closest to qualifying when she made the semi finals, just missing a place in the finals (and an Olympic spot).  he'll need a repeat (or better) performance at the 2024 Worlds to make it now. Jake Passmore is a first year senior and the former World Junior medalist will be hoping for better results next year. Ciara McGing is our leading platform diver.

Equestrian (6)

Our show jumping and eventing teams have already qualified for Paris thanks to their results in the 2022 World Championships, finishing fourth and fifth respectively. The show jumping team showed particular promise and were less than a fence away from a medal. They'll remain in contention for the big global prizes over the rest of the Olympic cycle. Our dressage team has shown signs of life recently but qualifying a team will be difficult. We should add an individual spot though and are currently in a ranking position to do so.


Ireland will easily qualify 4 golfers for participation in Paris. The current spots would go to Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow - our team from Tokyo. Seamus Power might be best placed to dislodge Lowry but qualification won't be in doubt for the team.



Rhys McClenaghan is World and European Champion in the pommel horse discipline. He still has to qualify for Paris though and it really won't be easy for him. He must be the top ranked pommel horse gymnast at the 2023 World Championships among those nations who haven't qualified a team. Rhys is ranked number two in the World behind Kazakh gymnast Nariman Kurbanov has beaten McClenaghan in two World Cup events this year. If he doesn't get the spot at the 2023 Worlds, McClenaghan will seek one of the two available spots for apparatus specialists at the 2024 World Cup.

Adam Steele, Emma Slevin and Halle Hilton have qualified to represent Ireland at the 2023 World Championships. They'll be looking to qualify for the all-round gymnastics events and we have a very good chance, particularly in the women's event.


2022 saw the women's team qualify for 2023's Eurohockey finals with the men just missing out.  Both teams ended the year ranked 13th in the World.  With 12 teams to qualify for Paris - effectively 11 with the host taking a spot in each tournament - qualification will be very tight. The qualifying tournaments will be held in early 2024 assuming the women don't win the European championships.




Ireland's best chance at qualifying an Olympic judoka is with Rachel Greene at 70kg. She's ranked 35th in the world and may get a continental quota that may be allocated to European nations without any qualifiers. It's a complicated process and she's right on the cut off point.

Modern Pentathlon

Sive Brassil ended 2022 in 28th in the World and she's Ireland's sole representative on the World Cup scene this year. She made the semi finals at the European Games and will need significant improvement to reach Paris.


Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy are the undoubted best in the world in their lightweight double sculls event. The Olympic champions added European and World gold medals to their incredible palmares last year. After missing the European championships for his graduation, O'Donovan will re-unite with the team for the rest of the season.

The European Championships were disappointing for the team with no medals returned. The bright spot was Philip Doyle and Daire Lynch combining for the first time and finishing 4th.  Olympic qualification is through the World Championships in September and Ireland will be looking to qualify 5-7 boats.

Rugby Sevens (24)

The women's team finished 5th in the World Series and with France being ahead of them, that was enough to qualify. A huge achievement for a squad that took a battering off the field this year. They can prepare fully for the Games now.

The men's team joined them with a thrilling win over GB in the final of the European Games. We'll have the full quota of 24 rugby players in Paris with both sides outside medal chances.


Our brightest sailing talent is Eve McMahon who has dominated at youth level in 2022. Qualification for Paris will be primarily through the 2023 World Championships with further spots available throughout 2023 and early 2024 at European and global levels. Finn Lynch won silver at the 2021 Worlds but has shown flashes since. Two 49er crews, including Tokyo Olympians Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove, had mixed results in 2022 and will fight for qualification this year with the first opportunity coming in August.


Aoife Gormally is ranked 27th in the World and will have several events at which to qualify in 2023 and 2024. Qualification for shooting is complicated with overspill between trap and skeet events, qualifying competitions and rankings all in play. There's 28 spots available though, and Aoife is in the mix.  On the men's side Jack Fairclough has recently transferred from GB to Ireland with the express intent of qualifying for Paris. He's down the ranks at the moment but has had some terrific results in the past and could qualify in the skeet event.


Daniel Wiffen has emerged as a genuine star in Irish sport, and the Ulsterman is emerging as a star in the world of swimming too. His sensational weekend in Stockholm recently saw him break Irish records in the 400m, 800 and 1,500m freestyles events and it's in the 1,500m where he is exciting most. His winning time ranked him 4th all time (his time has since been bettered this year) and would have been enough to win a medal at every major championships ever raced.  Swim Ireland has stated they will only accept qualifying times, or the lower Olympic consideration times, achieved during the 2023 and 2024 World Championships and the 2024 Irish Open. It means despite being number two in the world, Wiffen hasn't booked a ticket to Paris like some of his contemporaries.

Swim Ireland has announced their team for the the 2023 Worlds in July in Japan with Wiffen, of course, leading the way. He's joined by two others who swam under the tough qualifying times at the recent Irish open. Mona McSharry reached the final of the 100m breast-stroke in Tokyo and could contend for a final again. Tom Fannon is a recent recruit from the GB squad and broke the Irish record in 50m free. If he can repeat that in Japan, he'll book a ticket for Paris. Also on the team for the World Championships are Ellen Walshe, Victoria Catterson, Erin Riordan, Danielle Hill, Shane Ryan, Darragh Greene, Max McCusker, Conor Ferguson and John Shortt. Shortt is only 16 but is already competing at the senior level. Ireland will enter 3 relay squads; men's and women's 4x100m medley and 4x100m freestyle.


Tallaght's Jack Woolley needs to be in the world's top 6 to get a spot without the need for any qualifying tournament. He won silver at the recent European Games. Jack's South Dublin team-mate Leroy Nsilu Dulanda is ranked in the World's top 60 at 68kg but needs a huge year to make Paris.


Tham Nguyen made history with a bronze medal performance at the European Championships. Nguyen won her medal in the Clean and Jerk portion of the event and ranked 5th overal - just 6kg off an overall medal. She's now firmly in the running for Olympic qualification after her 20th placed finish at the World Championships in 2022. Olympic qualification for weightlifting is very complicated. There are overall limits placed on national teams, further restrictions on those with a doping past (all the major nations effectively) and various other intricacies which will mean we won't know the final quotas until just before the games. It would be quite something if Tham could join her badminton playing brother Nhat at the Paris Olympics. Sean Browne continues to be our most likely male qualifier. He was one place out for Tokyo.

Other sports

Some Tokyo Olympians, such as Triathlete Carolyn Hayes, effectively took 2022 off to get their non-sporting careers back on track. She hasn't returned to competitive action yet and James Edgar is our most prominent triathlete. He'll need to improve dramatically to have any chance for Paris.

We'll be keeping track on Olympic qualification all year.





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