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Ireland win their first Olympic medal at Tokyo as female rowers take home bronze

It’s a great day for the parish as Ireland have just won their very first medals at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

After competing at the Sea Forest Waterway four Irish women have won bronze medals in rowing for the women’s four crew. The winning athletes include Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.

Breaking a number of records, not only have these women secured Ireland’s very first medals at the Tokyo Olympics, but they are also the second Irish crew to ever compete in an Olympic final.

The predicted favourites, Australia, won gold and the Netherlands won silver.

Throughout the race it was neck and neck between Ireland and Britain as to who would nab third place. Throughout the race it looked like Britain were ahead, as they remained in third, with the Irish crew on their heels right until the end.

However, during the last kilometer, the Irish rowers persevered and pushed forward into third place during the final stretch, knocking Britain down to fourth.

Discussing the wonderful win with RTÉ afterwards, Aifric Keogh said, “We knew we could win a medal, it was just about whether we could pull it off.”

“It was a bit touch and go. Throughout the race I was like, 'we could be fourth, fifth.' I was looking out and I was like, 'Oh god,' in my head, we were slipping back but we said to ourselves if that happens we go early and the last kilometre we backed ourselves."

“Everyone else knows out here that in the last K we just start to go and you could kind of hear it, left and right they were like, 'don’t let them, don’t let them’,” Keogh recalled.

“We definitely didn't make it easy but Eimear made the call and we just all backed ourselves, backed each other, stayed really loose and just went for it,” Fiona Murtagh explained.

Commenting on their win, Eimear Lambe said, “It's a bit surreal, to be honest. It’s something for the future and hopefully this will be the first of many and hopefully it gives the young girls coming up now a bit of hope that this is completely possible.”

Huge congratulations to each of the Irish rowers on their fantastic win!

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