Team Ireland has bagged three gold medals and one silver in golf, swimming and a tennis event on day four of the 21st World Transplant Games in Malaga.
The Irish team’s golfers, Garry Campbell from Greystones, Wicklow and Michael Dwyer from Cabinteely, Dublin clinched a gold medal each today in the golf pairs competition at Malaga’s Guadalhorce Golf Club, beating pairs from Canada and South Africa to first place.
This was Garry’s second gold, having also won one in the golf singles event which was held two days previously.
At her first and only event of the Games, the youngest member of the team Rachel Eagleton (30) from Bettystown, Co Meath faced strong competition and secured a silver medal after her Italian rival won out.
A delighted Michael Dwyer said after winning his gold in golf said: “It was slightly cooler on the course than it was on Tuesday. I got great encouragement from Garry and the rest of the team.
“It’s a fabulous golf course, the staff were so helpful and friends which made everything easier. I am delighted. I don’t have the worlds to describe how I feel about this achievement. Only for my donor and their family I wouldn’t be here.
“Everyone needs to get a donor card as this is proof that organ donation works”.
Garry Campbell echoed Michael Dwyer’s sentiments in expressing gratitude to his donor while saying “it was very enjoyable playing with Mick”.
After winning his first gold in the golf singles event two days previously, Campbell said, "I was exhausted at the end of the event but I am delighted. I was surprised to have won the gold. I wouldn't have made it around if it wasn't for my son Gavin caddying for me.
“He kept me hydrated and in the shade. It was a great day. I met up with old friends on the golf course.
“I am really looking forward to the rest of the week. I would like to acknowledge my son, daughter and their partners and my grandson who are out here this week supporting me.
“I would also like to thank Karl Holmes at Greystones Golf Club for helping me prepare for the games. My donor is of course at the forefront of my mind.”
Earlier today the unstoppable Dubliner Deirdre Faul secured her fourth Gold medal at the Games and in the process broke a second world record in swimming for the 400m freestyle at the Games.
The Dalkey woman’s other world record time was achieved yesterday in the 200m Freestyle event for which she won Gold and later went on to win another gold in the 100m breaststroke event.
Earlier in the week the Deirdre won her first gold medal at the Games in another sport, Squash singles retaining her world champion status in this event at six consecutive world games’.
After her victory today, Deirdre said, “I didn’t realise I was swimming so fast. Two world records and four gold medals this week, I’m ecstatic! I smashed all of my personal bests too.
“I’m thrilled with my performance. Thanks to Otter Swimming Club and Dublin Swimming Clun for their support, coaches Matthew McCusker and Brian Conroy and friend Claire O’Dwyer.
“A special thanks also to my dad and my sons for their loving support and especially to the family of my donor for making all this possible.”
The Irish team of 27 athletes are competing among close to 1000 transplant recipients from over 50 countries.
The Irish Team will return home on Sunday 2nd July and their Ryanair flight is expected to land in Dublin airport at 5.30pm.