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Olympics 2020: Record number of UCD Ad Astra alumni and students qualify for Tokyo Games

Posted 20 July, 2021

The largest ever cohort of UCD Ad Astra Academy alumni and students will compete at (opens in a new window)2020 Olympics, with 20 athletes qualifying for this year's Games.

Beginning 23 July, these past and current As Astra scholars will be in Japan flying the flag for Ireland across a number of events, including hockey, rugby, rowing, table tennis, track & field, sailing, and swimming.

There will also be four other Irish athletes completing who undertook studies at University College Dublin, three of whom received sports scholarships from the University.

At the 2021 Games, four current UCD students will compete, Sarah Healy, Sarah McAuley, Michelle Carey, and Hannah McLoughlin, as will two athletes commencing studies at UCD in September.

Current Students Sport  Event Date  Academic Programme  Scholarship 
(opens in a new window)Sarah Healy Athletics, 1500m  Monday, 2 August  Law Ad Astra
(opens in a new window)Hannah McLoughlin Hockey ---- Economics + Finance Ad Astra
(opens in a new window)Sarah McAuley Hockey ---- Social Policy & Sociology Ad Astra
Michelle Carey (Travelling reserve)  Hockey ---- Biomedical Engineering Ad Astra


UCD alumni Mark English, Darragh Greene, Billly Dardis and Ciara Mageean will each be competing at the 2020 Olympics this month
Alumni Sport Event Date  Academic Programme  Scholarship
(opens in a new window)Mark English Athletics, 800m Saturday, 31 July Medicine, 2018 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Ciara Mageean Athletics, 1500m Monday, 2 August   Physiotherapy, 2017 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Sarah Lavin Hurdles, 100m Saturday, 31 July  Physiotherapy, 2018 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Katie Mullan Hockey, Captain Saturday, 26 July  ME Biomedical Engineering, 2018 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Anna O’Flanagan Hockey, Vice-Captain Saturday, 31 July Law with Economics, 2013 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Chloe Watkins Hockey Wednesday, 28 July   BComm International, 2016 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Deirdre Duke Hockey Friday, 30 July  Law with Social Justice, 2017 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Elena Tice Hockey Monday, 2 August  Economics, 2021 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Eimear Lambe Rowing, 4 Saturday, 24 July  BComm International, 2019 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Paul O’Donovan Rowing, Lightweight Double Saturday, 24 July  Physiotherapy, 2017 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Aileen Crowley Rowing, Pair Saturday, 24 July  Architecture, 2015 ---- 
(opens in a new window)Billly Dardis Rugby 7’s.  Captain Monday, 26 July    Health & Performance Science, 2019 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Adam Leavy  Rugby 7’s Tuesday, 27 July   Finance, 2021 Sports Scholar
Gavin Mullin Rugby 7’s Monday, 26 July     Business and Law, 2021 Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Harry McNulty Rugby 7’s Monday, 26 July     Food Science, 2017 Sports Scholar 
(opens in a new window)Annalise Murphy Sailing Sunday, 25 July  Science (Stage 1), and Health & Performance Science (Semester 1) Ad Astra 
(opens in a new window)Darragh Greene Swimming, 100m breaststroke Saturday, 24 July  Dilpoma in Sports and Exercise Medicine, 2018 Ad Astra & Sports Scholar 
(opens in a new window)Shane Lowry Golf Thursday, 29 July  Dilpoma in Sports Management, Incomplete Sports Scholar 

Hockey aces Michelle Carey, Hannah McLoughlin, Deirdre Duke, team captain Katie Mullan, Sarah McAuley, Chloe Watkins, Anna O’Flanagan and Elena Tice.

Rowing for Ireland at the Tokyo Games will be UCD graduates Olympic silver medalist Paul O’Donovan, Aileen Crowley, and Eimear Lambe. Also competing will be UCD alumni Harry McNulty and Sarah Lavin.
 Incoming Students Sport  Event Date  Academic Programme  Scholarship 
(opens in a new window)Aoife O’Rourke Boxing, 75kg Wednesday, 28 July  Veterinary Medicine Ad Astra
(opens in a new window)Fintan Ryan (Travelling reserve) Cycling, Track ---- Physiotherapy Ad Astra

Adam Leavy, Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy, Golfer Shane Lowry, incoming students Aoife O’Rourke and Fintan Ryan, and Gavin Mullin

“The UCD Ad Astra Academy provides the support needed to reach the highest of athletic standards while still allowing students to develop and complete their education,” said (opens in a new window)Professor Colin Boreham, Director of the UCD Ad Astra Sports Programme.

“It’s an incredible success for the University to see so many As Astra Scholars compete at the 2021 Games. They will prove to be excellent ambassadors for UCD, and we congratulate them on their fantastic achievements.

“We wish them all the best for the tough challenges ahead in Tokyo.”

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations