Champion rower dies after 'freak accident' while celebrating medal win

By admin
13 September 2016

What should have been her moment of triumph ended in tragedy.

What should have been a celebration for the British women’s rowing team during the World University Championships in Poland became a dreadful tragedy. Ailish Sheehan (23) from Ireland, and her teammates, Rebecca Edwards, Annie Withers and Gillian Cooper, had won a bronze medal during the championships in Poznan, Poland.

Just hours after the women had received their medals on Sunday 4 September, tragedy struck.
Ailish, who has been described as remarkable, spiritually strong and full of infectious energy and courage, tripped and fell. Instead of suffering a few scrapes and bruises as one would expect from such a fall Ailish suffered “catastrophic injuries”, The Guardian reports, sending the young sportsman into a coma. After six days in hospital, Ailish passed away on Friday 9 September, with her parents John and Catherine, and sisters, Niamh and Aine at her bedside.
Condolences have poured in for Ailish's loved ones in the wake of the tragedy. The president of Ireland, Michael Higgins, called her death a cruel blow to all who’d admired her rowing skills.
He also announced that the Irish flag would fly at half mast over city council buildings in Limerick and at Merchant's Quay on Monday 12 September.

“Like her performances on the water, Ailish gave everything right until the very end, but unfortunately she was unable to win this battle," Lee Boucher, manager of Ailish's team in Poznan said.

“Ailish’s family take comfort in knowing that she didn’t suffer and that she was happy in her final moments.”

Sources: irishtimes.com, independent.co.uk, theguardian.com, independent.ie, newstalk.com

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