KIERAN Murray from Donegal has won a bronze in Golf at the World Transplant Games in Malaga.
With results still coming in for the eleven golfers who took part in the scorching sun at golf events held at the beautiful Guadalhorce Golf Course, it has been confirmed that Transplant Team Ireland’s Garry Campbell from Greystones in Wicklow and Marie O’Connor from Lahinch both won a Gold medal while John McAleer from Antrim and Murray secured bronze medals.
The Ramelton man, who is a kidney transplant recipient, won a Bronze in Golf event age category 30-39 years. The father of three said, “It was very tough competition in strong heat. I’m delighted to win the bronze. This is my first world medal for Golf as I had previously won two gold medals for golf in the European Transplant & Dialysis Championships.”
Kieran said he was happy with his performance in the men’s 5km road race on Monday and although he didn’t get placed in the top three he was happy with his time 19 minutes 22 seconds.
“ I’m delighted with my performance. I was aiming for under 20 minutes so I am very happy with 19.22 which is 11 seconds off my personal best. I thank my donor for getting me to here and being able to compete and enjoy the Games experience.” he said.
Transplant Team Ireland includes 4 liver and 23 kidney transplant recipients ranging in age from 30 to 79 who will compete against almost 1000 participants from more than 50 countries at what will be the largest gathering of transplant recipients this year. The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for coordinating and managing Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at European and World Transplant Games events.
Expressing good wishes to the 27 strong Irish team before they departed for the World Games were the cream of sporting personalities including Martin O’Neill, Ruby Walsh, GAA’s Mickey Harte, Alan Brogan and David Hickey the former Dublin footballer and Transplant surgeon, Kilkenny Hurling All Star Michael Fennelly as well as the new president of the Olympic Council of Ireland Sarah Keane. The Ambassador of Spain José María Rodríguez-Coso also expressed his good wishes and held a reception for members of the team at his residence in Dublin the week before they left for the Games.
Every athlete at the World Transplant Games will have already received a kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas or bone marrow transplant.
The Irish team includes four newcomers. Although the main objective for team members is to embrace life and promote organ donation, some returning team members will also be contesting World titles. Keen to build on their medal successes at the previous World Transplant Games in Argentina in 2015, Deirdre Faul, Kieran Murray, Tony Gartland and Peter Heffernan have being training hard in anticipation of the competition in Malaga. Between them, the much smaller team of four won 13 medals including 7 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze in Argentina. Two years previously at the World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa 2013, the Irish team of 24 athletes scooped 34 medals including 12 Gold, 10 Silver and 12 bronze with 50 competing countries.
Athletes compete in their respective age categories in the following events: badminton, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, squash, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, mini-marathon, and track and field.
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