A local athlete who was denied a gold medal for being too fast for his category at the recent Special Olympics Ireland Games in Limerick has been awarded his medal following a review.
Stephen Browne, who finished first in his category in the 25-metre freestyle event, had previously been told his time exceeded the ‘honest effort margin’ which is a feature of all official Special Olympics events.
However, a review revealed that the wrong margin had been applied, and that his time was in fact valid.
“Following an official review of results, it was determined that the 20 per cent honest effort margin for this specific event should in fact have been a 25 per cent margin,” a spokesperson for Special Olympics Ireland told this newspaper. “Accordingly, the results have been amended and the medal was awarded to the athlete in question.”
Stephen’s coach, Liam Madden, said he is happy with the outcome.
“In fairness to Special Olympics Ireland, they had the courage to go back and review the situation, and they had the decency to acknowledge the correct result,” he admitted.
This development means that Stephen, along with fellow gold medalists Declan Mooney and James McWeeney, is eligible to be considered for the Irish team which will compete at the World Games in Los Angeles.