Final Count: Gold 0; Silver 1; Bronze 2
In terms of the medal count for Ireland, the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing are shaping up to be one of the most successful in Olympic history.
UPDATE: [Ireland’s 1st bronze medal of the Beijing ‘08 Olympics is confirmed as Irish boxer Sutherland is well beaten in semi-final by Britain’s James DeGale 10-3].
UPDATE 2: [Ireland’s Paddy Barnes has lost to China’s Shiming Zou in the Olympic Light Flyweight semi-final, 10-3. A 2nd Irish bronze medal].
UPDATE 3: [Kenneth Egan wins his Olympic semi-final well against Tony Jeffries of England. 10-3 guaranteeing at least a silver medal for Ireland].
UPDATE 4: [Ken Egan wins an Olympic silver medal for Ireland. For my money he was a lot closer to a gold medal than his 11-7 defeat suggests.].
At least 3 medals are coming Ireland’s way, the colour of them yet to be decided.
Surpassing the tally in boxing of the Pocket Rocket and Carruth at the Barcelona Games back in 1992, are Paddy Barnes, Ken Egan and Darren Sutherland. Maybe.
Because Michael Carruth won gold, and Wayne McCullough won silver. In Beijing Barnes, Egan and Sutherland are still in the competition so Ireland could yet win 3 gold medals. Or any combination of gold, silver, and bronze. If they all lose their semi-finals then they each will get a bronze medal.
In boxing 2 bronze medals are awarded in each event, the losing semi-finalists, who may well have been beaten to a pulp when losing, not being asked to fight it off.
Anyway a medal count of 3 bronze for Ireland in Boxing would take the Beijing Games to just behind the Melbourne Games, the one where everyone talks about Ronnie Delaney’s gold medal (Did you bring it Ronnie?) and nobody mentions the silver and 3 bronze medals for Ireland at the same games - all of them in boxing.
The 5 medals Ireland won at the Melbourne Games of 1956 still represents Ireland’s greatest overall medal count at a single Olympic Games, and each by different people.
Nobody talks anymore about Ireland’s 2nd largest haul of Olympic medals - the 4 at the 1996 Atlanta Games, of which 3 were gold and the other bronze. Because they were all won by Michelle Smith. Or Michelle de Bruin if you prefer. Because nobody talks about Michelle anymore. Because of a 4-year ban. And because of Androstenedione.
Actually I talk about her. Because I swam in the same pool that she trained in. Well I can’t actually swim strictly speaking, but I did pay my 50p to go in each time. And my urine too smells of whiskey.
Anyway 2008 is looking good so far, even with the withdrawal of medal contender Dennis Lynch, and the chances are that Ireland’s Olympic medal winners of 2008 will be as fondly remembered as the likes of John Tracy (silver, 1984) and Sonia O’Sullivan (silver, 2000).
The mother asked me about this earlier this morning so I figured I’d share my answer.