By Sarah May.
Today on day three of the 19th World Transplant Games Team Ireland continued their winning streak securing a staggering eight medals- three gold and five silver. Members of Team Ireland today competed in 20km cycling event, lawn bowls, badminton and swimming. Team Ireland have been extremely successful in the games so far, today’s successes bring the Irish medal tally to six gold,seven silver and one bronze.
The first medals of the day came at the lawn bowls event. Dublin man Brian Carney secured a silver in his category (30-39). Brian was delighted with the victory. He said “I’m wrecked after that. I’m delighted, it was a very enjoyable game and my opposition were very sporting.”James Reynolds a kidney transplant recipient from Dublin continued his world games success by securing a gold medal in his category (18-29). James was delighted with the result. He earlier stated: “I’m ecstatic to win a gold medal. I can’t believe it’s my second medal of the week. I’m truly enjoying my games experience here in South Africa.” Also at the lawn bowls Seamus Eager, a heart transplant recipient from Co. Wicklow bagged a silver medal and was ecstatic with the results. This is Seamus’s second world transplant games, he won a silver medal in Gothenburg which hangs proudly in the National Heart and Lung Transplant Unit in the Mater Hospital. Catherine Murphy from Cork successfully bagged an impressive silver medal in the lawn bowls 60-69 category. Catherine was thrilled with the win. She said, “It was an absolutely fantastic day. I won all my games till the final and in the final I lost 9-6. I’d like to thank St Michael’s lawn bowling club in Blackrock and the indoor bowling club, for all the practice and coaching.” Team Captain Harry Ward also played well at the lawn bowls event today against stiff competition. Harry Ward spoke of Team Ireland earlier today, he stated” I’m enjoying my games experience. It’s wonderful to be with such a wonderful team and it’s fantastic to see them all doing their best.”
Successes were also achieved at the badminton today with our youngest competitor Oisin O’Gorman from Waterford securing a gold in the 12-14 category. This is his second time competing at the games. Oisin was delighted to secure another world medal. Following his win Oisin said “It’s a brilliant feeling to win a gold medal here in South Africa. It’s a great games with really friendly people.” Oisins father a live kidney donor said ” we as a family are very proud of Oisin’s win. His participation in the games helps to prove that organ donation works.” Tipperary native Andrew Duncan continued his Games success securing a Silver in his category (15-17). This is Andrews first time competing in the games and he has already secured an impressive two medals, one gold and one silver. Vienna White also played very well in the badminton event despite facing stiff competition.
Four brave Irish athletes completed the intense 20km cycling course today they were: John Moran, John Connell, Sheila Gregan and Deirdre Faul. John Moran topped his silver victory yesterday by bagging a gold in the 50-59 category. John received a kidney transplant from his brother Frank in 1985 and has been competing in World Games since 1987. John has always had a keen interest in cycling and was a member of Loraine Club for many years.
Team Ireland swimmer Peter Heffernan competed extremely well in the swimming competitions. Dublin native Peter, a kidney transplant recipient competed in the100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 50m fly competitions. Peter swam well in each event and successfully secured a silver in the 50m backstroke.
The Irish Team is composed of 24 athletes including 10 women and 14 men, ranging in age from 12 to 68. All members have received organ transplants including kidney, pancreas, liver and heart. Seven of the kidney recipients received their transplant from living donors. The Games run until 4th of August and athletes shall arrive home on the 5th of August at 12.15.
The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for managing Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at the Games. Individual athletes have undertaken fundraising activities to offset some of the expenses incurred in travelling to and participating in the Games.
For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or contact the Irish Kidney Association on locall 1890 543639 or log on to http://www.ika.ie. You can now store your donor card details on your smart phone by downloading the free Organ Donor Ecard app.