Historic success for duo

Laois athletes Dermot O’Neill and Margaret Magee both returned from an International Kettlebells Competition in Latvia recently with medals, as the sport continues to go fro strength to strength locally.

Laois athletes Dermot O’Neill and Margaret Magee both returned from an International Kettlebells Competition in Latvia recently with medals, as the sport continues to go fro strength to strength locally.

Both O’Neill and Magee qualified for the event back in May having won gold medals at the All-Ireland championships in Wexford, earning themselves a seat on the plane to the small Baltic country, which is at the centre of the competitive Kettlebell world. There were over ten Euorpean countries taking part, with 17 Irish athletes among them.

Margaret Magee was first in action, lifting 16kg bells over a long cycle, doing 116 reps to claim a coveted silver medal. Dermot O’Neill was next in action, lifting 24kg bells on the long cycle, completing 64 reps to win gold. Both Dermot and Margaret completed personal bests in claiming their medals. The long cycle consists of swinging the bell between the legs clean to a rack position, and the lifting over the head into a fixed position. Athletes have ten minutes to do as many reps as possible with the proper technique.

Dermot and Margaret are also the first Irish competitors to receive a medal in IUKL, which is a huge achievement for both. The Irish team took home 18 medals, with host country Latvia and traditional powerhouses Russia hugely impressed with their efforts. Local classes in Kettlbells take place in the Max Fitness Gym in Portlaoise, on Monday from 6pm to 7pm, Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm and Friday from 7pm to 8pm. For more information, contact Dermot O’Neill on 085-1076217.