Updated List Of Every Irish Sportsperson Who's Qualified For The Summer Olympics

Updated List Of Every Irish Sportsperson Who's Qualified For The Summer Olympics

[Updated 13 June 2021]

Some Irish teams/athletes have been qualified for the Tokyo Summer Olympics since 2018 while others will only qualify in the weeks leading up to the games. You all know the situation in the world,  we're writing this in the hope the Tokyo games go ahead!  With that in mind, let's look at how qualification stands.

Irish athletes/teams qualified for Tokyo Olympics

Athletics - 14 (inc one relay)

To most casual sports fans, track and field is still the blue-riband sport of the games.

Ireland has earned six medals with Ron Delaney's win in the 1,500m in 1956 being the last of our gold medal winning runners. So far we have qualified 14 athletes with 6 being allowed travel for the mixed 4 x 400m relay.

  • Ciara Mageean - 1,500m
  • Tom Barr - 400m hurdles
  • Michell Finn  - 3,000m steeplechase
  • Fionnuala McCormack - marathon
  • Aoife Cooke - marathon
  • Paul Pollock - marathon
  • Kevin Seaward - marathon
  • Stephen Scullion - marathon
  • Alex Wright - 20k walk (and 50k walk)
  • Brendan Boyce - 50k walk
  • 4 athletes - Mixed 4 x 400m relay

Apart from those qualified by virtue of achieving the qualifying standard, athletes can also qualify through world rankings. The following athletes are currently in a qualifying spot but these can change rapidly; Phil Healy (200m), Nadia Power (800m), Kate O'Connor (heptathlon),  Leon Reid (200m), Marcus Lawler (200m), Mark English (800m), Sarah Lavin (1oom hurdles) and David Kenny (20k Walk).

Badminton - 1
  • Nhat Nguyen (Men's singles)

Nhat is 26th qualifier based on his world ranking over the past two years. The young Dubliner is the second Irish man to compete in the men's singles event after Scott Evans in 2008-2016.

Boxing - 7
  • Brendan Irvine (52kg Fly)
  • Kurt Walker (57kg Feather)
  • Michaela Walsh (57kg Feather)
  • Kellie Harrington (60kg Light)
  • Aidan Walsh (69kg Welter)
  • Aoife O'Rourke (75kg Middle)
  • Emmet Brennan (81kg Light heavy)

Kurt Walker will be confirmed as a qualifier through the rankings at featherweight soon. The team of 7 will be the second largest boxing team since qualifying was introduced and bogger than traditional powerhouses like the USA or France

Canoeing/kayaking - 1
  • Liam Jegou - C1 Slalom

Qualifying is now finished in canoeing. Noel Hendrick and Hannah Craig just missed out on qualifying in C1 and K1 respectively but may have a very slim chance of a reallocated spot.

Cycling - Road - 3
  • Men's Road race (3 quotas)
  • Men's ITT (1 quota)

With several riders at world tour level, the fight for Olympic spots will be on this summer. The route is quite hilly so more likely to suit Dan Martin or Eddie Dunbar rather than Sam Bennett.

Cycling - Track - 4 (inc 2 teams)
  • Men's madison (2 quotas) + Omnium
  • Women's madison (2 quotas) + Omnium

With both madison crews qualifying, Ireland will have it's largest track cycling team since qualification began. Mark Downey and Felix English look set for the men's team. The women's team could be any 2 from Lydia Boylan, Lydia Gurley, Shannon McCurley, Emily Kay or even young Lara Gillespie. By qualifying for the madison, we can also enter a cyclist (from that madison duo) to enter the omnium in both genders.

Diving - 2

Tanya become the first women to qualify to represent Ireland in diving with her performance in the World Cup event in Tokyo in May. Ciara McGing may yet qualify through her ranking.  We've included Oliver Dingley here as he was initially reported as having done enough, even on the official FINA website, but it appears that may have been premature. There is an overall cap on number of divers and Dingley may miss out. One to keep an eye on as no Irish divers appear on the list of qualified divers published by FINA recently.

Equestrian - 9 (inc 3 teams)

We have qualified the maximum 3 riders in Eventing as a result of winning silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. They'll compete as individuals and as a team and will be selected closer to the Games.

  • 3 Day Eventing
  • 3 Day Eventing
  • 3 Day Eventing

In 2019 Ireland qualified a full team in Dressage for the first time ever. As with all equestrian events in Tokyo, teams are made up of 3 competitors. This team is now under threat as 2 of those who qualified won't be there. Kate Dwyer is pregnant while the brilliant Judy Reynolds has had to retire her world class horse Vancouver.

  • Dressage
  • Dressage
  • Dressage

Our showjumping team  finally qualified at their last chance in the 2019 FEI Nations Cup Final.  It is the first time Ireland has qualified a show jumping team since 2004.

  • Show jumping
  • Show jumping
  • Show jumping
Gymnastics - 2
  • Rhys McClenaghan (All round - pommel)
  • Megan Ryan (All round)

Although young Rhys has qualified for the all round, his focus will be on the pommel. After gold at the 2018 Europeans and bronze at the 2019 World Championships, he will be expected a medal in Tokyo if he's fully fit. Megan Ryan was first reserve on the women's side after her 2019 World Championship performances and with North Korea pulling out, she gets the call.

Hockey - 16

The Irish women's team has qualified for Tokyo 2020. It will be the first time we have been represented in the traditional team sports by women. Ireland will play Britain, Germany, Netherlands, India and South Africa in the groups.

  • 16 players to be selected
Judo - 2
  • Megan Fletcher (70kg - middle weight)
  • Ben Fletcher (100kg - half heavy weight)

The Fletcher siblings moved from the GB set up just after Ben represented GB at the 2016 Rio Olympics and they've both qualified through individual rankings. Ben's early form had seen him in the top 10 and despite a recent broken leg, he's remained in the quota position. Megan confirmed hers with an excellent 5th at the recent World Championship.

Modern Pentathlon - 1
  • Natalya Coyle

Natalya will be hoping for her third top 10 placing in the Olympics in Tokyo. Arthur Lannigan O'Keefe was in a qualifying position but a succession of injuries have ended his season and he won't compete.

Rowing - 13 (inc 6 boats)
  • Women's Single sculls (W1x) - Sanita Puspure
  • Women's pair (W2-) - tbc
  • Men's double sculls (M2x) - tbc
  • Men's lightweight double sculls (LM2x) - Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy
  • Women's four (W4-) - tbc
  • Women's lightweight double sculls (LW2x) - tbc

Paul O'Donovan has won the last two world championships, the last with Fintan McCarthy. They're the only team that's been officially announced. Sanita Puspure is another double world champion and will represent Ireland in her 3rd Olympics but won't be favourite in Tokyo.  The women's four and the women's lightweight double sculls qualified through the last chance Regatta. Teams will be announced closer to the Games.

Sailing - 3 (2 boats)

Ireland has qualified two boats for the sailing competition at Tokyo 2020.

  • Annalise Murphy - Laser Radial
  • Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove - 49er

Although Aisling Keller earned the quota, Annalise Murphy has been selected for the event. Annalise, of course, won the silver medal in Rio.  Former World Junior champions Dickson & Waddilove earned the last European quota in Lanzarote in April with a superb performance.

Swimming - 4 (plus 1/2 relays)

Four Irish swimmers have gone inside the qualification times for the Olympics.

  • Shane Ryan - 100m backstroke
  • Darragh Greene - 100m, 200m breaststroke
  • Mona McSharry - 100m backstroke
  • Daniel Wiffen - 800m freestyle
  • Men's 4 x 200m relay (up to 6 spots)

FINA had initially invited Ireland to submit a team for the 4x100m medley relay team too but that has since been rescinded. We'll see what happens but Swim Ireland are fighting it. There's a qualifying meet in Dublin soon with individuals hoping to qualify.

Taekwondo - 1
  • Jack Woolley - -58kg

Tallaght's Jack Woolley qualified to be Ireland's first ever Taekwondo representative by virtue of his top 7 World Ranking at the end of 2019.

How the rest of Team Ireland is looking


Golf qualification is based on world rankings at the end of June, 2021. At the moment Ireland would have a team of four with Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry being medal contenders in the men's event. Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow are in line to repeat their 2016 Olympic qualification too.  If McIlroy or Lowry pull out, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington are next in line.

Rugby sevens

It will be a tough ask for the men's rugby sevens team to qualify. Ireland finished 3rd at the European qualifier behind England and France.  That was enough to qualify Ireland for the final world qualifying tournament  They'll have to win the tournament in Monaco in June to get through. The favourites will be France, Samoa and Tonga. The women's team are out.


Ireland is likely to receive a re-allocated spot with both men's and women's trap in play. It will be one or the other. Aoife Gormally is currently ranked in the world's top 20 and finished 7th at the recent European championships. Multiple Olympian Derek Burnett would get the nod if we get the men's spot.


Russell White and Carolyn Hayes are our best hope of qualifying for Tokyo and both are on the bubble for a the quota spots at the moment.  Hayes  is a relative newcomer to the sport but earned an excellent silver in the recent World Cup in Lisbon and looks to be safe now. The rankings period ends next week.


Sean Browne is Ireland's top weightlifter and he ended up 15th in the Olympic rankings at his weight. Weightlifting qualification is incredibly complicated with nations being restricted to only 4 quotas per gender. When further restrictions are placed on certain countries due to sustained doping, they can drop fairly far down the list. As Ireland has not qualified anybody, we may receive a reallocated quota if there are no tripartite invitees at this weight.


We'll be updating this post as the year progresses.

Natalya Coyle: From 'Not Very Good' To One Of Our Big Olympic Medal Hopes

See Also: Ireland's Big Olympic Gymnastics Medal Hope Thriving After Move To Dublin

John Dodge
Article written by
Football fan. Lover of sporting stats. All round nice guy. Balls.ie's so called 'League of Ireland' correspondent. 100% biased against your team

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