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How Team Ireland Is Shaping Up For The Paris Olympics: One Year Out

How Team Ireland Is Shaping Up For The Paris Olympics: One Year Out
John Dodge
By John Dodge
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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. At time of writing, Team Ireland is at 65 and we might beat the record of 117 from Tokyo. Here's how things stand as of October 18.

Athletics (7 qualified)

Qualifying for the track and field events opened on July 1st and already Ireland has seen several qualifiers. Sarah Lavin was first in the 100m hurdles and she backed that up with a new national record in the semi finals of the World Championships  In mid-July, Brian Fay (5,000m) and Andrew Coscoran (1,500m) broke Irish records on consecutive days to qualify in their events. Our brightest star, Rhasidat Adeleke promptly qualified in the 200m and 400m after turning professional. She may not race the 200m in Paris but she's talking medals for 400m and came close at the World Championships showing she's right in the mix for Paris.


Ciara Mageean's incredible performance in the mile in Monaco, where she destroyed Sonia O'Sullivan's Irish record to finish second behind the world record of Faith Kipyegon, has brought her into the medal discussion and her 4th place in the World Championships suggest she'll be a contender in Paris.  She'll likely be joined on the starting line by Sarah Healy and Sophie O'Sullivan.  The European u23 gold and silver medal winners both ran the Olympic Qualifying Time at the World Championships with Sarah making the semi final.

The rest of the team have until next June to get the time, with relays trying to qualify at the World Relay Champs in the Bahamas early next year. We'll likely add 5-6 more individuals either through times, or the world ranks.


Tokyo Olympian Nhat Nguyen hasn't really kicked on since those games and his world ranking has dropped to 45th in the latest edition. That's still enough to earn a quota for him, but he can't afford to drop much further.  Rachel Darragh has moved in the opposite direction and a stellar 2023 propelled her into the worlds top 50 and she's now well on course to qualify for Paris. The men's double of Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds are right on the bubble and may get in through a continental quota for Europe. As it stand we would have 4 badminton players going to Paris but there's a long way to go before the rankings close on April 30th next year.

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.


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 with a trip to Italy being first up. 2 World Champions will go head to head for the right to represent Ireland at 66kg with confirmation that Lisa O'Rourke is set to challenge Amy Broadhurst. Grainne Walshe makes it a trio of world class fighters all gunning for one spot.

Canoeing (3)

The slalom World Championships ended a successful season for Ireland with 3 boats qualifying for Paris. Madison Corcoran's performances in the K1 European Champs was rewarded with the final quota after all nations who finished ahead of her qualified through the World Champs. In men's kayak event, Noel Hendrick finished 16th to qualify comfortably for what should be his first Olympics. he may be joined by brother Robert who qualified in the C1 class with another 16th placed finish. Hendrick qualified the boat for Tokyo too, but Liam Jegou was chosen ahead of him. Jegou finished 30th in the World Championships

Our leading sprint canoeist is Jenny Egan-Simmon excels in the longer non-Olympic distances and won't qualify on her own. She's been joined by Eabha ni Drisceoil as the attempt to qualify in the K2 event.


Cycling (3)

Thanks to the sterling efforts of Ben Healy in the early season classics and then by Healy and Eddie Dunbar in the Giro D'Italia, Ireland finished 17th in the UCI world rankings for 2023, enough to qualify 2 men for the road race - and one of them can compete in the time trial.  Healy earned 2163 of Ireland's total of 4015. Dunbar, Rory Townsend, Sam Bennett and Darren Rafferty were the next biggest contributors. The race route suits a punchy rider like Healy s he'll be looking for selection in Paris.

Ireland's women have never been more prominent in road racing than they are at the moment. We have only ever had one Olympic road race participant - Deirdre Murphy in 2000 - but as we ended the season ranked 33rd we've qualified one rider for Paris. Ireland were right on the qualification borderline for much of the season but a superb 3rd place for Mia Griffin in the last World Tour race in China vaulted Ireland up the rankings. The other 4 scoring riders this year were Megan Armitage, Lara Gillespie, Alice Sharp and Rachel Neylan. Neylan, who won silver at the 2012 world champs, swapped Australia for Ireland in the middle of this year and it looked at one stage like her points would be the difference between qualifying and not. In the end, Griffin and Sharpe's points won in China made qualification look easy.

The women's track pursuit team are well on course to qualify. They finished in the top 5 at the European Championships and 9th at the World Championships. 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 2022 European championships but hasn't performed this year after breaking his arm at the World Championships. An outside shot at best now.



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).  She'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 - 2 teams)

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 continued to show their medal potential with a silver at the recent European Championships. The eventing team finished 4th in Europe too. We're currently just outside the qualifying positions for an individual dressage spot.


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.  While winning medals at golf is harder to predict than most sports, we should be in contention again in Paris. The rankings end in mid June 2024.


Gymnastics (1)


Rhys McClenaghan retained his World Championship on the pommel horse in October and in doing so qualified for the 2024 Olympics. The man from Bangor is established as a podium contender and next year will be the same. It won't be easy with several world class gymnasts all thinking they can win on the pommel, but Rhys will be in the mix and enters as a double world champion.

He's likely to be our only gymnast at the Olympics. Halle Hilton has an outside shot of getting a reallocated quota after her performance in the World Championships


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. The men's team qualified for the Olympic play offs after winning the Euro Hockey II tournament in Dublin this summer with the women pre-qualifying by taking part in Division I.



Ireland's best chance at qualifying an Olympic judoka is with Rachel Hawkes at 70kg. She's ranked 41st 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.

Rowing (12 - 6 boats)

Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy are the undoubted best in the world in their lightweight double sculls event and the Olympic Champions maintained their 100% record in major championships with another world title in September. They needed top 7 to qualify and it was never in doubt. They've been joined by their fellow "mighty lighties" as Aoife Casey/Mags Cremen qualified in a packed field in 7th position.

The women's openweight boats were all change for the World Champs with Emily Hegarty's injury plagued season requiring several new combinations to be formed. Olympic medalists from the fours, Fiona Murtagh and Aifric Keogh were 4th in the pairs event. Alison Bergin and Zoe Hyde also finished 4th in the double sculls with both combination easily qualifying for Paris. The women's four, containing just Eimear Lambe from their Tokyo medalists,  finished 9th overall and will need to qualify through the last chance regatta next May.

The men's openweight boats went one place better than their female counterparts with Phil Doyle and Daire Lynch in the double scull, and youngster Ross Corrigan and Nathan Timoney in the pair, both winning bronze medals. They've qualified for Paris and now both combinations are in medal conversations.

Rugby Sevens (24 - 2 teams)

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.

Sailing (1)

Finn Lynch won silver at the 2021 Worlds in the Laser (ILCA 7) event and while not at the same level this year, he did enough to qualify as the first Irish sailor through to Paris. Tokyo Olympians Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove continued their maddening inconsistencies by winning races at the World Championships but making enough errors to miss out on Olympic qualification. They'll get another chance in November. Our brightest sailing talent may be Eve McMahon who has dominated at youth level in 2022 but she showed haw difficult the step up to seniors is with a silver fleet performance in the 2023 World Championships.


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.  Derek Burnett finished 10th at the European Championships in Trap and may yet qualify for his 6th Olympics!

Swimming (3)

Swim Ireland set additional requirements on our best swimmers for them to earn their ticket to Paris. While some federations will accept times earned during any accredited meet, only times swam at the World Championships or Irish Open would count for ours. Luckily, our 3 strongest swimmers all qualified at the first time of asking this summer. Ellen Walshe was first up in the 200 individual medley and she swam an Irish record in the semi final to dip under the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT). Mona McSharry easily got the time on her way to finishing 5th overall. she was inches away from winning a medal.

Daniel Wiffen is our brightest swimming star since she-who-can't-be-named. Wiffen set a new European Record on the way to 4th place in the 800m in Japan in one of the fastest races of all time. The Ulsterman was disappointed with 4th in his main event, the 1,500m, but qualified easily and showed he is a medal contender for Paris.

Ireland entered 3 relay squads; men's and women's 4x100m medley and 4x100m freestyle. They need to be in the top 16 times over the next 2 world championships to qualify for Paris. The men's and women's 4x100m medley relay teams both finished ranked 13th in the world with the women most likely to qualify. They have a 3 second cushion on the chasing pack. The men's medley relay and the women's 4x100m freestyle teams are also in qualifying spots now, but less than a second separate them from the teams ranked in 17th.


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 overall - 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 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

We've qualified in Triathlon at every games since the sport was introduced but it's not looking likely for Paris. We didn't have a single entrant at the elite level for the recent World Championships.

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

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