By Sarah May
Today saw day 5 of the 19th World Transplant Games held in Durban South Africa. Although it’s been a tiring week Team Ireland show no signs of feeling weary with a staggering haul of 8 medals. Team Ireland consists of 24 athletes, 10 women and 14 men ranging in ages from 12 to 68, all members have received transplants including kidney, pancreas, liver and heart. Seven of the kidney recipients received their transplant from living donors.
Donegal woman Vienna White took a Silver medal in the 3km Race and a Bronze in the shot putt today in the 30-39 category. Vienna is a kidney transplant recipient and has a love for badminton. Vienna was delighted with the outcome today she said, “the shot putt result was very unexpected. The standard is so high. I was hoping to do well in the 3km so it’s great to get this result. The medal was hard fought, I’m thrilled.” Orla Hogan, a kidney transplant recipient from Nenagh , Co. Tipperary also competed well in the 3km race today.
John Moran and Tony Gartland went head to head in the 1500m race today as both competed in the 50-59 category with John taking gold and Tony taking bronze. This is Johns third medal of the week having secured Gold in the 20km cycle and silver in the 5km cycle. Following his win John said, “The race went to plan, the finish was great. I’m having a great time here in South Africa everything is going very well.” Kildare butcher James Nolan competed very well in the 400m sprint today against very tough competition.
Two of our younger members also went head to head today as Robbie Lyons and James Reynolds both competed against each other in the long jump, 18-29 category. Both competed very well and Robbie Lyons took the bronze. Robbie stated, “I am delighted with the way things turned out. It reminds me the only reason I’m here is my donor and the decision the donor family made to donate their loved ones organs. To them I am very grateful.” Robbie’s competition has not ended yet, he will be taking part in athletics again tomorrow.
Team Ireland’s youngest competitor Oisin O’Gorman also secured a bronze today in the long jump and came fifth in 100m sprint with a speedy time narrowly missing out on a medal by 0.3 seconds. Oisin said ” I’m thrilled with the medals I’ve won this week. The competition was very hard. I’m loving South Africa and I don’t want to go home. I want to thank my family for being here and for all their support. The whole Games has been amazing.”
Sinead McGowan of Renmore, Galway but residing in China took the Silver today in the 400m sprint. Sinead is a kidney transplant recipient, her brother Seamus was her living donor. Sinead was thrilled with the victory. She said, “Given the injuries I had going into the race I am ecstatic with the silver medal. It’s great to be here competing in South Africa and I hope to be back again for Argentina.”
Angela Sherlock, a kidney transplant recipient currently living in Spain took bronze in the discus today. Angela also took part in the 100m sprint. Kildare woman Sonia Treacy also competed in the 100m sprint today finishing with a speedy time against stiff competition.
Away from the Athletics track Tipperary teenager Andrew Duncan secured bronze in the table tennis event, this medal brings Andrews medal tally to an impressive four medals; two gold, one silver and one bronze.
The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for managing Team Ireland’s participation at the Games. Individual athletes have undertaken fundraising activities to offset some of the expenses incurred in travelling to and participating in the Games.
For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 5050 or contact the Irish Kidney Association on locall 1890 543639 or log on to http://www.ika.ie. You can now store your donor card details on your smart phone by downloading the free Organ Donor Ecard app.