08 Jun Irish Team for World University Games Announced
The Colleges and University Sports Association of Ireland (CUSAI) today announced the Irish athletes who will be competing in this summer’s World University Games.
There are 69 students selected across athletics, fencing, football (men’s and women’s), swimming, taekwondo and tennis for biennial competition, which this year takes place in the Serbian capital Belgrade from July 1 to July 12.
The squad boasts five Olympians from the 2008 Beijing Games – Fionnuala Britton and Joanne Cuddihy on the track, Melanie Nocher in the pool, Eileen O’Keefe in the hammer and Siobhan Byrne in fencing.
Team Ireland Chef de Mission, Paul Davis, said: "This year we have as strong a set up as we ever had in the competition and would hope that our athletes will perform well in Belgrade".
"The fact that the team has five Olympians in its ranks shows the high caliber of sport at third-level institutions across Ireland. The commitment by the coaching, background staff and athletes has been second to none in preparation for these games and we hope that this hard work will yield success".
Ireland’s campaign kicks off on 30 June when the footballers take the field to play their first round matches. The men taking on Uruguay and the women, who made it to the semi-final in 2007, face Japan.
In tennis, Team Ireland travel to Belgrade with a team of five including Dublin CIty University Head Coach Jamie Pilkington. He will be travelling with four of Ireland’s top university players, half of which he coaches on a daily basis as part of the Dublin City University team. The Irish players are made up of Niamh Coveney (Dublin CIty University), Andrea Maughan (University of Utah, USA), Dara McLoughlin (Indiana University, USA) and Simon Wrafter (Dublin City University).
The official opening ceremony of the 2009 World University Games takes place on July 1.