Olympics

This Sunday Has Potential To Be One Of The Greatest Days In Irish Sporting History

This Sunday Has Potential To Be One Of The Greatest Days In Irish Sporting History

While Ireland certainly punch above their weight in Olympic terms, winning a medal in the games is still a relatively rare event in this country.

That is especially true when it comes to golds, with Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy becoming only our fourth Irish athlete/pairing to win such a medal in the games over the last 65 years.

We have already had a good games by our normal standards, with a gold and bronze in rowing, as well as Aidan Walsh having already secured at worse a bronze medal in the boxing. Three medals is always a decent return for Ireland.

The good news is things could be set to get a whole lot better over the course of the weekend.

Sunday, August 1st, has the potential to be one of the the all-time great days in Irish sporting history. If you think we're exaggerating, just take a look at what could be on the cards.

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First up is Kurt Walker's featherweight quarter-final, with the 26-year old facing American fight Duke Ragan.

A victory would guarantee at least a bronze medal, Ireland's fourth of the games. That bout will take place at 3.30am Irish time.

Aidan Walsh will follow soon after at 4.03am, with the Belfast man taking on Britain's Pat McCormack in the welterweight semi-final.

He may already have a medal in the bag, but you can bet that Walsh will be desperate to book his place in the Olympic final.

While all this is going, we will also hopefully have a couple of players jostling for the podium in the men's golf event.

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Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are both in an excellent position after completing their second rounds overnight, with the pair sitting on -7 and a tie for seventh place. In a very bunched leaderboard, they are very much still in the hunt for gold and are only a shot outside the top three as things stand.

That could change during the third round, but you certainly wouldn't bet against either man ending up with a medal on Sunday morning. We should know if that will be the case by around 7am.

Ireland will have another genuine gold medal shout later in the day, this time in gymnastics.

Rhys McLenanghan will take part in the men's pommel final, getting underway at around 10.44am. the Antrim man is highly likely to finish in the medal positions, with first place well within his grasp.

Should he end up on the podium, it would be Ireland's first ever Olympic medal in gymnastics.

For those counting, that is four real medal hopes in the space of a few hours, with Aidan Walsh also having the chance to upgrade his bronze to at least a silver. Five medal chances for Ireland in the same day is absolutely unprecedented.

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While there will no medals on the line, Thomas Barr will round out the day's proceedings by racing in the 400m hurdles semi-final. An Irish athlete reaching a sprint final at the Olympics is a rare feat, with Barr hoping to do so for the second consecutive games.

Here's the Irish schedule in full:

Golf

Men's final round: Rory McIlroy & Shane Lowry - 11.30pm onwards

Boxing

Men's Featherweight quarter-final: Kurt Walker vs Duke Ragan - 3.30am

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Men's Welterweight semi-final: Aidan Walsh vs Pat McCormack - 4.03am

Gymnastics

Men's Pommel final: Rhy McClenaghan - 10.44am

Athletics

Men's 400m Hurdles semi-final: Thomas Barr - 1.05pm

It's going to be a very long day. We can't wait for it.

SEE ALSO: Aidan Walsh Pays Tribute To Sister Michaela After Securing Olympic Medal In Tokyo

Gary Connaughton

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