‘Couldn’t be happier’ – Ireland’s Desmond beams after brilliant Olympic debut

IRELAND’S ELSA DESMOND says she “couldn’t be happier” after a brilliant display in the Women’s Singles Luge at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. 

Desmond finished her maiden Olympic Games with another clean run, completing her third run with a time of 1:02.254, which was her second fastest on the track.

Added to run one and two, Desmond finished her event in 33rd position with an overall time of 3:03.07.719.

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The top twenty athletes from run three moved to the final round, meaning that Desmond’s third run was her final one. The Women’s Singles was won by Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger.

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The 24-year-old Desmond, who is first Ireland’s first competitor at a Games in the luge, was relieved to end her competition with such a strong score.

“This is the second fastest time that I ever got here,” she said after her event, “there was definite issues between curve two and three. I’ve only ever got it right twice prior to this. It’s a section I haven’t got my head around and you get that sometimes.

“But unlike yesterday’s second run I recovered it much quicker, and I managed to relax into the sled I didn’t manage to do in the second run yesterday.

“I had a couple of taps with my feet down, but it was nothing major. It was consistent with training but a little bit quicker. I’ll take it, I finished three runs, I couldn’t be happier.”

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“I’ve dreamed of this as long as I can remember and I’m here and I did it and I didn’t do anything ridiculous and end up on my face. Why would I not be absolutely ecstatic? I know my parents are at home watching and wish they were here and will be so so proud. I can’t wait to talk to them, I know my mum will be in tears.”

Team Ireland will have two athletes in action tomorrow, with Tess Arbez competing in the Slalom, while Seamus O’Connor is set to become a three-time Olympian, competing in the Snowboard Halfpipe qualifying rounds.

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