NUI Galway Students compete at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Monday, 18 August 2008

Beijing has welcomed the world to the Games of the 29th Olympiad. Among athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees to compete over the coming weeks are NUI Galway students and alumni, Paul Hession, Cormac Folan, Alan Martin and Olive Loughnane. Dr. Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, commented: "We are delighted and honoured to have students and alumni of NUI Galway representing Ireland on the world stage at the 2008 Olympic Games. On behalf of the University, I would like to wish Paul, Cormac, Alan and Olive the very best of luck and every success in Beijing". Paul Hession, Ireland's fastest man is a medical student at NUI Galway. Twice a World Student Games medallist, Paul was awarded an NUI Galway Sports Scholarship for Athletics in 2000 and is still an integral part of the scheme. Paul received the NUI Galway Sports Awards for Athletics four years in a row from 2002 – 2005. For the past couple of seasons he has taken the Athletics world by storm with world class performances in the three major sprints; the 60m dash, 100m & 200m. Last month Paul, a native of Athenry, produced a stunning double at the Cork City Sports recording the fastest 100m run in this country (10,21) before eclipsing a star- studded field in the 200m at the Mardyke. Paul also collected the American Trophy for the Outstanding Athlete at the meeting. Cormac Folan is a graduate in Engineering and will form part of the crew for the Men's Four Rowing team. Cormac, from Barna, was awarded an NUI Galway Rowing Sports Scholarship from 2003 to 2007. He was an outstanding member of the successful Men's Wylie Cup team here at NUI Galway winning the Intervarsity Championships between 2003 and 2007 completing four-in-a-row victories. Alan Martin, also a graduate in Engineering was awarded an NUI Galway Rowing Sports Scholarship from 2001 – 2006. He was also successful with NUI Galway Rowing Club capturing the Intervarsity Title Wylie Cup on no less than four occasions from 2002 to 2005. The Salthill rower was selected as the fifth member (substitute) of the Irish Heavyweight Coxless Fours in Beijing. Olive Loughnane is from Loughrea, Co. Galway and also a graduate of NUI Galway. Olive represented NUI Galway Athletic Club from 1993 to 1995 and was selected for a Sports Award in 1996. She also represented the Irish Universities on numerous occasions and was a member of the National Race Walking Squad. Olive became the first female Irish walker to win a senior title at the British Triple A's in Birmingham. Her times have continuously improved over the years and this is her third Olympic Games. Mr Tony Regan, Sports Officer, NUI Galway proudly said, "These people are world class athletes with outstanding talent and are the current generation of Irish Sporting Stars. They are wonderful role models and are an inspiration to us all and we are proud and honoured to have them as students and graduates of NUI Galway. We wish them the very best in their endeavours in Beijing over the next couple of weeks". The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games commenced on 8 August with the opening ceremony and will continue until 24 August, 2008. Schedule Rowing: Cormac Folan - 9, 13, 14 August Athletics: Paul Hession - Friday, 15 August – 100m. Monday, 18 August – 200m, 19 August – 200m. Athletics: Olive Loughnane - Thursday, 21 August – 20k Walk
ENDS

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