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Limerick man stars in bronze medal win at Special Olympics

Glory boys: Ireland's all Munster floorball team, back row, left to right, Roy Saville, Aidan Cross, George Fitzgerald and William McGrath Front row, left to right, James Murphy, George Fitzgerald, Sean Murphy and and Brendan OSullivan celebrate after the Bronze Medal presentation ceremony at Gangneung Indoor Sports Center, Gangneung, South Korea. Picture: Sportsfile

Glory boys: Ireland's all Munster floorball team, back row, left to right, Roy Saville, Aidan Cross, George Fitzgerald and William McGrath Front row, left to right, James Murphy, George Fitzgerald, Sean Murphy and and Brendan OSullivan celebrate after the Bronze Medal presentation ceremony at Gangneung Indoor Sports Center, Gangneung, South Korea. Picture: Sportsfile

  • by Daniel Tighe
 

JAMES Murphy has returned to Limerick an Olympic hero following a bronze medal winning performance at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea.

James and the rest of the floorball squad defeated host nation South Korea by a remarkable score line of 11-1 in the bronze medal playoff match.

James, who lives in Corbally, was part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run that sent the athletes on their way two weeks ago.

The staff at Daughters of Charity, Lisnagry, where James trains with coaches Susan and Dorothy, are very excited about his return and can’t wait to catch a glimpse of his bronze medal.

Susan Kenny one of his coaches joked: “He told me he was going to wind down after it and take February off, he was so tired after all the extra training.” But the staff at the centre hope they won’t have to wait that long.

“We’re planning a big welcome here at the centre,” Ms Kenny added.

Team Ireland lost a tight semi-final match to Austria 6-5. Having trailed 5-1 at half-time they battled back bravely only to lose out by a single score.

They recovered immediately, channelling the frustration of that agonising loss into a thrashing of South Korea.

James is no stranger to international success, having won gold as a member of Ireland’s victorious basketball team in a European Special Olympics event in Austria in 2010.

“He’s in great form. They came back in great form - delighted with themselves. We always knew James would end up at that [level]. He’s an exceptional talent, he’s into his sport, trains very hard. He made a huge effort for the games, training with us, walking at home every night and meeting with the national team once a month,” explained Susan.

James showcasing his eye for goalscoring, scored six of Ireland’s eleven goals in a pool match at the tournament.

“He just has this great goalscoring ability, the national coach told me anytime they were a goal down they’d just bring James on and he’d pull one out of the bag every time,” said Susan.

Twelve of the 14 athletes representing Ireland at the games returned home with a medal, an outstanding strike rate for Team Ireland.

 

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