Over the weekend of 12th to 15th June the Special Olympics’ National Games were held in Limerick with or own Aisling Maher competing for Munster and also representing the Ormond Special Olympic Nenagh and Templemore Club. Aisling was entered in the 1,500mts, Turbo Javelin and 4 x 100mts relay at the games. The weather over the weekend certainly added to the tremendous atmosphere and right from the start with the parade through Limerick and opening ceremony to the final event on Sunday afternoon everything went smoothly no doubt due to the huge volunteer effort of all those involved. They must be thanked for such a great show.
Aisling commenced her competition on Friday morning with the first round of the Turbo Javelin and in a very competitive competition qualified for the final of the event, which took place on Saturday. In the final Aisling performed admirably and the final decision as to the winner was only decided on the last throw when the athlete from Ulster claimed the gold medal with Aisling just a few meters behind winning the national silver medal.
The heats of the 4 x 100mts took place on Friday evening and Aisling was a member of the Munster all girls team which stormed to victory in an excellent time of 1.03.29. Sights then turned to the final on Sunday when seven teams lined up for the final. The girls were the only women’s team in action and what a display they produced being pipped for the bronze medals by just one hundred of a second. Their time of 1.03.66 was subsequently recorded as a new national women’s relay record.
All the middle and long distance athletes were spared the task of competing in heats on Friday with all finals taking place on Sunday. Aisling lined up for her 1,500mts on Sunday morning competing against three male athletes. From the start she paced herself perfectly and after the first of the three laps had moved onto the shoulder of the second placed athlete with the leader a couple of metres further ahead. Nothing much changed over the reminder of the laps with Aisling putting in a terrific performance whilst still concentrating on her own race. She made her move with just over 200mts remaining, moving ahead and sprinting clear to race into second place and also closing the gap on the leader but the finish line came too soon with her Munster team-mate finishing just 4 secs ahead of her to claim the title. Aisling finished in second and in the process won her second silver medal of the weekend and also recording a personal best for the distance of 6.10.21. Delight shone from Aisling at the finish and no more than she deserves following her dedication to training over the past couple of months.
The club wish to congratulate Aisling on her marvellous achievement and she is certainly a shining example to all our athletes. All the best Aisling in your quest for selection for the World Games in Los Angles next year.