17 Jul 2019
The 2019 World University Games ended just a few days ago and with it brought the curtain down on many months of preparation and training for the management and athletes of Team Ireland.
Focusing on the UCD contingent, our representatives spanned Men’s and Women’s Football, and Athletics.
The Women’s Football team, captained by UCD’s Chloe Mustaki who started every game at centre-back, produced some amazing performances. In their first outing of the Games, they defeated 2017 champions Brazil on a scoreline of 1-0. They ultimately topped their group with a 2-1 victory against Republic of Korea in the second group game, setting up a quarter-final meeting with China.
Chloe Mustaki, Captain Ireland Women's Football team, in action versus China.
In a dramatic game versus China, the Women’s team came out on top in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out winning 4-1 after the game ended level after 90 minutes. This was the first time since 2007 the team qualified for the semi-final stage.
With a chance of the final up for grabs, North Korea proved too strong in the semi-final and the game ended in a 5-0 loss. The Women’s Footballers still had a chance for a Bronze medal when they faced Russia on Friday July 12th. The team went 2-0 up but squandered the lead which meant the game was decided on a penalty shoot-out. Russia won the shoot-out and it was a desperately unfortunate way to end the teams chance of a medal finish.
Ireland Women's Football squad.
UCD AFC goalkeeper Gavin Sheridan was the sole UCD representative on Team Ireland Men’s Football team. In the first game of their group, the team came from a goal behind to beat South Korea 3-2 in a fantastic opening group win. The team qualified for the quarter-finals with a 1-1 draw with Uruguay securing top spot in Group A.
Ireland Men's Football team featuring Gavin Sheridan (Goalkeeper).
Unfortunately this was as far as the team progressed as they lost out to Russia who held onto a 1-0 lead in the quarter-final.
Contesting a 5th - 8th place play-off, the Men’s team were drawn against Ukraine but disappointingly lost 2-1 which meant Ireland faced France for a 7th – 8th place finish. A cruel end to their campaign conspired as the team lost on penalties in this game.
Alanna Lally (800m) and Sarah Lavin (100m hurdles) were UCD’s two athletics representatives at the games.
Alanna qualified through her first round in a time of 2:06.74. In the semi-final heat Alanna placed 16th overall in a time of 2:06.36.
Alanna Lally before her 800m semi-final.
Sarah Lavin qualified from her heat in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.32. She put in an hugely impressive performance in her semi-final, clocking in a season’s best of 13.26. In the final she narrowly missed out on a medal finish, placing 4th with just 0.19s off a bronze medal.
Sarah Lavin in the semi final of the 100m hurdles.
In total the travelling Irish delegation was made up of 53 athletes and 22 officials, with athletes competing in 4 sports, Athletics, Archery, Football (Men’s and Women’s) and Taekwondo. Well done to Marcus Lawler (IT Carlow) who added his name to the list of medallists at a World University Games for Ireland by taking Bronze in the Men’s 200 Metres.
UCD Sport would like to thank Student Sport Ireland for their fantastic organisation and well done to all athletes who competed.
All images credit to Tommy Dickson, Inpho Photography