NUI Galway President Commends Olympic Efforts of Students and Alumni

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

As Ireland's Olympic Team returned home, NUI Galway has applauded the tremendous talent its Olympians displayed during the world games. NUI Galway students and alumni competing on track and field were Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane, and from the heavyweight four team rowers Cormac Folan and Alan Martin. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, commented: "We, at NUI Galway, are delighted with the performance of our students and alumni in the Beijing Olympics. Their achievements have brought lustre to Ireland and to this University and we look forward to honouring Paul, Olive, Cormac and Alan at a reception later in the year".
  • Paul Hession (200m), Ireland's fastest man is a fourth year medical student at NUI Galway. Paul was third in his heat (20.59) and produced a heroic performance when he won his quarter final heat (20.32). The semi-final finish saw him finish at a time of 20.38 denying him a spot in the 200m final. The fastest man in Irish sprint history finished tenth overall from an original field of 63, missing the final by just .13 of a second or one place. Paul said: "It's not over. I'll keep racing until the legs fall off!"
  • Olive Loughnane (20km Walk) is from Loughrea, Co. Galway, and a graduate of NUI Galway. Olive represented NUI Galway Athletic Club from 1993 to 1995 and was selected for a Sports Award in 1996. In this her third Olympic Games, Olive finished the 20k walk in seventh place (of 48 competitors) in a new personal best time of 1.27.45, over a minute inside the Olympic record. "If you told me last night I was going to walk to 87:45, I'd have said - hope you have the flag ready", Olive commented after the race. "There were eight people inside the Olympic record today and I was the seventh one. I did amazingly well. I could not have done anymore".
  • Cormac Folan (Rowing) is a graduate in Engineering and formed part of the crew for the Men's Heavyweight Four Rowing team. Cormac, from Barna, Co. Galway, was awarded an NUI Galway Rowing Sports Scholarship from 2003 to 2007. Alan Martin, also a graduate in Engineering was awarded an NUI Galway Rowing Sports Scholarship from 2001 - 2006. The Salthill rower was selected as the fifth member of the Heavyweight Four Team in Beijing. The crew came third in their heat (6:02:85) to go straight to the semi-finals. They came sixth in the semi-final (5:58:14) and fourth in the B Final which left them tenth overall.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games commenced on 8 August with the opening ceremony and the closing ceremony took place on 24 August.

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