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Medals for Clare lifesavers at international event

THE International Ischia Island trophy, an international lifesaving competition, took place last week. On a little island off the coast of Naples, the competition involved four international teams, Ireland, with Clare’s Oisín McGrath and Colm Fitzgerald in their line up, Holland, Romania and Italy.
The combined efforts of McGrath and Fitzgerald placed Ireland third in the overall team category with individual first and second placings in the board paddle, ski race and ocean man events.
Saturday began with the ski race heats. Oisín McGrath won his heat with Colm Fitzgerald coming fifth. Unfortunately for Fitzgerald only four competitors went through to the final from each of the heats.
The final took place in the afternoon after a great display of water rescue by the Italian water police, including their jet-skis and rescue helicopter. Oisín McGrath took a very close second place to a Romanian competitor in the ski final.
The board paddle was a straight final of 18 competitors. McGrath was first, with Fitzgerald taking sixth place.
On Sunday, the ocean man events were scheduled but were cancelled by the Italian water police due to the presence of a huge amount of stinging jellyfish. All water events were cancelled for the day and a beach flags event was put in their place.
A total of 16 competitors lined up for the beach flags final, including two Romanian, two Dutch, two Irish athletes with the remainder being Italian.
McGrath was knocked out in eighth place but Colm Fitzgerald eventually took the beach flags title in a very close final round.

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