Tipperary athletes bring home 10 medals from European championships

Tipperary's successful athletes Orla Hogan, Vincent Bradshaw, Andrew Duncan and Sheila Gregan at Dublin Airport following their return from the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Poland
Tipperary athletes returned home last weekend laden down with medals from the European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in Krakow.

Tipperary athletes returned home last weekend laden down with medals from the European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in Krakow.

Vincent Bradshaw, Cahir; Sheila Gregan, Nenagh; Orla Hogan, Nenagh, and Rockwell College student Andrew Duncan, Clonmel, the youngest member of the team, brought home a total of 10 medals, including two coveted golds.

Sheila Gregan took gold on the last day in the virtual traiathlon, adding to the bronze she won on the opening day’s 5km mini-marathon, while Vincent Bradshaw took gold in the golf.

Following her win in the virtual triathlon, which combined her best times in the 5km cycle,the 5km mini-marathon, and the 400m freestyle.

Sheila Gregan said: “It was worth waiting till the end of the week for this. Only for my donor I couldn’t do this, so I do it because I can.”

Sheila took the world virtual triathlon title in Durban, South Africa, last year.

Orla Hogan claimed three bronze medals, in the 5km mini-marathon, the 50m breast stroke and bowls doubles, while Andrew Duncan took two silver in singles tennis and badminton and two bronze in mixed tennis and badminton.

Andrew’s father, Malcolm, speaking after his son’s achievements said: “Andrew is delighted with his success and we are very proud of him. He fought exceptionally well against a very fine Italian player in the singles final and Madeline and himself put in a great performance against the first and second placed Hungarians in the tennis mixed doubles.”

Following his silver in badminton, Andrew said: “I am only 16 and was competing in the 18-29 year age category. The standard was extremely high so I am ecstatic with my silver medal. I want to thank my family and the Team for all their support and my uncle William in Bagenalstown and John Amond for training me. The training paid off.”

Transplant Team Ireland comprised 34 athletes, and with its overall impressive medals tally of 18 gold, 18 silver and 31 bronze medals, was ranked third in the medals table behind Hungary and the host country Poland.

Team manager Colin White, newly-elected secretary of the Presidential Committee of the European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Federation said: “It’s fantastic to be placed in the top three on the medals table out of 24 countries. The championships were very well organised by the Polish hosts. Each and every member of Transplant Team Ireland proved to be great ambassadors for organ donation, both on and off the competitive field, and each of them wore their Irish kit with pride and honour.”

When not competing, the team enjoyed the sites of Krakow, taking in the old town and main square and tours to Auschwitz and the Wawel Cathedral.