Above: Mike Keohane, Roscarbery, (right) with fellow Cork athlete Charlie Ryan from Cobh.
Transplant Team Ireland enjoyed huge success at the 9th European Transplant and Dialysis Championships in Vantaa, Finland. The team’s final medal tally was a staggering 21 Gold, 19 Silver and 29 Bronze. This placed Ireland’s 28 strong team in fifth position on the medals table with host country Finland, and a much larger team of 96 athletes, taking top position out of 24 competing countries.
A large gathering of family, friends and supporters festooned with flags, banners and bunting, greeted the team on its arrival home to Dublin airport on July 17.
Mike Keohane from Rosscarbery, a liver transplant recipient, brought home Gold, Silver and Bronze medals from the Championships.
Mike won a Silver medal in the 5km race walk event and then followed up by winning a Gold medal in the Discus event. He also won a Bronze medal in a badminton doubles event. He said, “I’ve got the full complement of Gold, Silver and Bronze now which is great. I’m really happy with the 5km race walk and achieving my personal best of 28.41 minutes.”
Speaking about his Gold medal win in the Discus competition Mike said, “my play was very consistent and the top four contestants put in very strong performances. I would like to thank my liver donor for my success here.”
Despite extremely changeable weather and heavy rainfall at the Championships in Vantaa on Monday and Friday, the determination and strength of the Irish athletes was consistent throughout. So too was the camaraderie and sportsmanship that they displayed not only with their own team but with athletes from all of the participating countries.
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