Special Olympics: Emma Carlisle among medals for Team Ireland

L-R: Carolina Pita, Alicia Martino and Emma Carlisle celebrate their medals
Emma Carlisle (r) won backstroke bonze on the opening day of competition

County Down swimmer Emma Carlisle won Ireland's first medal at the 2019 Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi.

Carlisle, 23, took bronze in the 100m backstroke while the Irish 25m freestyle relay team won gold.

Tyrone native Richard Currie was part of the bocce squad that also claimed the gold medal in the team bocce event.

Currie, 22, joined team-mates Caroline Torpey, Matthew Brennan and Ciara Joyce as they beat Iraq and China to the top step of the podium.

Carlisle was the first Irish athlete to medal when she finished third behind Alicia Martino of Australia and Paraguay's Carolina Pita.

The Ballygowan native recorded a personal best time of two minutes 22.22 seconds to place just over three seconds behind Martino.

Also in the pool, the 25m freestyle relay team of Damien Breslin, Emma Barrett, Chelsea Phillips and Edel Armstrong were convincing winners in their final - finishing almost 10 seconds ahead of North Macedonia with Jordan in third place.

Ireland's Richard Currie
Richard Currie helped Ireland to take team gold in the bocce event

Earlier, Ireland beat Estonia 1-0 in their first game of the Men's football and the Irish women's basketball team won their opening two matches.

The women's team began with a 20-6 win against Kazakhstan and also defeated United Arab Emirates 22-4 but there was a defeat for the mixed basketball team in their opening game as they lost 45-21 against Switzerland.

Mary Daly beat Rose Sanchez of Spain 2-0 in her opening game of the women's badminton singles.

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