Special Olympics 2019: Ireland complete Abu Dhabi Games with 86 medals

Ballygowan swimmer Emma Carlisle (right) finished the Games with a gold and a bronze
Swimmer Emma Carlisle (right) won her second medal of the Games on Wednesday

Gold medals for Lisburn badminton player Sara Louise Rea and county Down swimmer Emma Carlisle help increase Ireland's medals tally to 86 on the last day of Special Olympics action.

Rea, 17, maintained her 100% record to clinch gold while Carlisle's triumph added to her earlier bronze medal.

Newry swimmer Peader Connolly also won a swimming silver on Wednesday.

Ballygowan's Carlisle triumphed in the 100m freestyle with Connolly winning his medal in the 200m backstroke.

Connolly's time cut eight seconds off his previous personal best.

Wednesday's success brought the haul of medals by Ulster competitors up to 21 over the six days and Shaun Cassidy, Regional Director of Special Olympics Ulster, described Irish performances over the past week as "incredible".

The breakdown of the Irish medals was 30 gold, 29 silver and 27 bronze.

"We have spent the week rooting for our athletes as they consistently showed skill, determination and passion in their chosen sports and we couldn't be happier with their performance," said the Special Olympics Ulster official.

"From experiencing the traditions of Abu Dhabi to building friendships and making lifelong memories, this is an experience that none of our athletes will forget.

Newry swimmer Peadar Connolly
Newry swimmer Peadar Connolly won 200m backstroke silver on Wednesday

"They are leaving the World Summer Games with much more than just medals and that is everything we could hope for."

The final day of competitive action in Abu Dhabi saw Ireland win four gold, a silver and a fourth-place ribbon in the golf competitions.

Galway man Simon Lowry plus Dubliners Mark Claffey and John Keating won individual gold medal medals with Andrew Simington and playing partner Phyl Kelleher also on the top step of the podium.

Clare woman Mairead Moroney, at 69 the oldest athlete at the Games, took a golf silver along with playing partner Jean Molony.

County Armagh woman Jill Connery, 33, finished fourth in her event after an earlier hole in one during the Games.

Team Ireland also have several successes on the final day of track and field action.

This included Stillorgan man Conor Meade's pentathlon silver, Kerry man Gary O'Sullivan's second in the 400m walk plus bronze medals for Cork's Roy Saville (100m) and Kilkenny's Lucy Dollard (mini-javelin) - in addition to a 4x100m relay bronze with Saville and Meade, joined in the quartet by Cork man Brendan Maguire and another Dubliner Alan Power.

Concluding the gymnastics events, Dublin woman Eimear Gannon earned bronze medals in the ball, hoops, clubs and ribbon events which led to a fourth-place ribbon finish in the all-round competition.

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