Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon
After securing a silver medal with the Irish women’s pentathlon team at the European Senior Championships in Hungary recently, Sive Brassil’s dream of representing Ireland at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo is increasingly looking like it can become a reality.
Since winning the Spanish Open in 2015, the Ballinasloe native has steadily been climbing the world rankings but she says the silver medal at the recent European Championships, which she claimed alongside team-mates Natalya Coyle and Eilidh Prise, is one of her finest achievements yet.
“It was really good. The three of us were delighted,” recounts Irish modern pentathlete Brassil, who is home in her native town on a well-earned summer break.
“What was even better was the next day we saw Michael D. Higgins had tweeted about us. That just put the cherry on the top of the cake. We were over the moon with that.”
Overall, Coyle had finished fifth in the individual standings with Prise 11th and Brassil 21st. For all three, it was their highest-ever finish at senior European level, resulting in Ireland finishing just behind team gold medallists Hungary and ahead of third-placed France.
For Brassil, it was the perfect tonic in a year disrupted by injuries. “I could tell my fitness was fully back after the injuries. I qualified really easily for the final, which I was delighted with, and then in the final, the first half of my fencing went really well and I was really excited.
“However, then the second half (of the fencing), I lost almost every single hit so I ended up with a very average fence which put me out of the place I would have liked to have been in. But, my swim was very strong, I had a good ride and then I had a really good run-shoot at the end. So, I finished 21st overall which wasn’t what I was hoping for but considering how poorly the day started, it was okay.”
In any event, the competition will surely stand to her ahead of her next challenge, the World Championships in Mexico in September. On the back of her European silver medal, Brassil will be hoping she can drive on from this and replicate – and maybe even surpass – her results in World Cup events earlier this year.
In February, she finished 14th at the first of four World Cup qualifiers in Los Angeles before securing the exact same placing – 14th – in the second qualifier in Cairo, Egypt the following month.
“Both of those were my first top 15 finishes (at senior elite level). So, I was delighted,” she continues. “It meant I had now qualified for the World Cup final after doing just two rounds, which was great, because it gave me a chance to take a breather.
“I was planning on going to the fourth event but I then had a couple of injury problems. I ended up getting a calf tear and then just when it was better I sprained by ankle so I didn’t end up going to the fourth.”
She returned to full health though just before the World Cup final in Kazakhstan in June but without the stable diet of full-on training behind her, it proved difficult. “It was a bit of a disappointment even though, obviously, I had been injured and I hadn’t a good block of training done before it.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms
Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.
The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.
A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.
Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.
Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.
The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.
“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.
“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”
Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.
“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.
The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools
Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.
“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.
“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.
A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.