First it was squash, then it was tennis, but it was success all the way as Clonmel athlete Andrew Duncan, today won his second gold medal of the 19th World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa.
Andrew (15), received a kidney transplant from his father Malcolm just last year, but has been showcasing his gold-standard at the world games these past few days.
An accomplished mainstream racket ball player, Andrew’s latest success was in the tennis singles event while yesterday, he secured silver in badminton, bringing his medal tally to three.
After a shocking discovery in 2010 that Andrew had kidney failure he later underwent dialysis treatment and in March 2012 Andrew’s father, Malcolm, donated a kidney to him.
Andrew, who sat his Junior Cert exams earlier this Summer said he is ‘on a high’.
“The games are fantastic. I am on a high after playing today. Competition is stiff. It’s great to come out with some medals this week. The support from the team, my family and friends is wonderful. Everyone here is so friendly. The hospitality of the home team is fabulous.”
Andrew is hoping for further success this Friday when he competes in table tennis. Andrew is cared for by Children’s University Hospital Temple Street. Temple Street Hospital has been a long time supporter of transplant sport for paediatric patients who have experienced kidney failure. Two other members of Transplant Team Ireland, Robbie Lyons and Eoin Hurley (both 19), took part at junior level in transplant sport and have now moved on to adult competition. Eoin, a student at Trinity College from Waterford, will be competing in golf and table tennis at the Games. Robbie, from Laois, sat his Leaving Cert earlier this summer and was a record breaker at a previous World Transplant Games in Sweden two years ago. At this World Games, Robbie will be taking part in the adult category for the first time (age 18-29 years) in track and field events which will take place this Friday and Saturday.
Another Tipperary athlete Sheila Gregan from Nenagh picked up a bronze medal in the 400m swimming freestyle event (40-49 years category).
So far the 24-strong Irish team has amassed a total of 18 medals and are hopeful for more medals by the time the Games come to a close on Sunday August 4.
Over 1,000 athletes from 50 countries are participating in the 19th World Transplant Games which are a celebration of life and the strength and generosity of human spirit. At the previous World Transplant Games which were held in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2011, the Irish team of 33 athletes who ranged in age from nine to 70, secured a world record in one event and picked up a massive haul of 39 medals comprising 13 gold, 14 silver and 12 bronze and were placed 11th overall on the medals table.
The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for managing Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at the Games. Individual athletes have undertaken fundraising activities to offset some of the expenses incurred in travelling to and participating in the Games.
Messages of support are proudly posted on the team blog www.transplantteamireland.ie
Members of the public can also offer messages of support in its Guestbook.
For more information on the 19th World Transplant Games and Transplant Team Ireland, visit the team blog www.transplantteamireland.ie (Twitter www.twitter.com/teamireland1