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25/07/2021

BREAKING: Three Longford Olympians on plane to Tokyo as Kenagh marksman Derek Burnett seals qualification

Derek Burnett

Kenagh's Derek Burnett in action

Longford will have a third Olympian on the plane to Tokyo after Derek Burnett qualified following a dramatic shoot out in Co Tyrone yesterday. 

The veteran shooter saw off Rathkeale's Ian O'Sullivan by five shots after hitting 119 of his 125 targets compared to his opponents 114/125.

It means Burnett now joins Longford swimmers Darragh Greene and Gerry Quinn on Ireland's Olympic team ahead of this summer's games.

ALSO READ: Massive achievement as second Longford swimmer heading to Olympic Games in Tokyo

It is the Kenagh man's fifth time to qualify for an Olympic games, something which was not lost on the experienced marksman in the wake of his success yesterday.

"It's great to be going," he said, when contacted by longfordleader.ie this morning (Sunday). 

Mr Burnett said his one regret was not having made it six Olympic Games in a row after narrowly missing out on the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.

"That's the only thing, but this (Tokyo) kind of came out of the blue," he added.

"Sometimes, you don't really know what scores you are going to get. It's a bit like the Leaving Cert in that way."

Derek said his qualification was made all the more satisfying given the stop-start nature of his own preparations in the lead up to yesterday's eventual result.

"Given what has gone on with Covid and that, I haven't been doing as much training as maybe I would have liked but it's nice to see that my form is pretty good at the minute," he added.

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