KILKENNY SPORT FOCUS
By Michael O’Leary
Glenmore is most famously renowned for the calibre of hurlers that have won Senior All-Irelands with Kilkenny over the years, but over the past few years Mia Griffin has been doing the little village in south Kilkenny very proud indeed with a string of excellent performances around the world in Cycling.
Coming from a village steeped in GAA, Mia was a very talented Camogie player at underage level, and in 2015 she was part of The Kilkenny Panel that won The Minor All-Ireland.
A year later in 2016, Mia was part of the Glenmore team that won The Intermediate County Final, while the following year in 2017 she had the honour of captaining the Kilkenny Intermediates.
However, during that particular year in 2017 she put her Camogie career on hold to concentrate on Cycling.
Since concentrating on the bike, she began to make an immediate impact and she has constantly continued to progress among the Worlds Elite.
In her debut year competing, she was part of The Talent Team that won the gold medal in The Team Pursuit at The National Track Team Championships, while she finished third in The Individual Pursuit at the same competition.
Mia made history by becoming the first female Irish cyclist to compete on The World Tour, and at the beginning of this year(2023) she signed up to ride for The Israel Premier Tech Team having previously ridden for The Irish Belgian Continental Team(IBCT).
Riding in her first European Championship in 2018 as part of The Ireland Team in The Pursuit Event, they secured a top 10 finishing in 10th place, while further top 10 places were produced in 2019 as they finished 9th in The Europeans and 10th in The World Championships.
Track cycling was where the Glenmore native excelled best of all despite performing well on road, and in a COVID affected year in 2020 she produced a brilliant performance to finish third and win a bronze medal in The Individual Pursuit at The Under-23 European Track Championships in Italy.
Also in 2020, Mia along with Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe and Lara Gillespie set a new national record in the Women’s Team Pursuit that was four seconds quicker than their previous best, while they finished 8th in The Team Pursuit in Berlin.
She enhanced her growing reputation further in 2021, as she was part of The Irish Team that won a bronze medal in The Team Pursuit at The European Track Championships in Switzerland, while she was also part of The Irish Team that won gold in The Team Pursuit at The World Cup in Saint Petersburg in Russia.
Also in 2021, they finished 5th in The World Championships in Roubaix in France as they just missed out on the chance to compete for Medals.
Mia also performed very well in The Individual events as she was 8th in The Individual pursuits races in both The Europeans and The Worlds.
Meanwhile, closer to home she finished 2nd in a stage in The Ras Na Mban in Kilkenny, and last year she was overall runner-up to her Pursuit Team mate Alice Sharpe in The National Road Race Championships.
Mia has had plenty of high finishes in races around the world, and she has high aims of making The Ireland Team for next years Olympics in Paris.
She actually has experience of competing in the French capital having competed in The World Championships last October, where she recovered from COVID in time to compete in The Madison with Alice Sharpe.
Last year, The Pursuit Team finished 6th in The European Games in Munich, while they produced another excellent performance to finish 5th at the recent European Championships in Switzerland.
So much on the horizon to look forward to for The Glenmore native with The World Championships taking place at The Sir Chris Hoy Veladrome in Glasgow from early August.
She will hope to have secured her place in Paris 2024 by then, and all going well she looks to be well on her way to being an Olympian.