Ireland Sevens speedster Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe is hoping to secure a place at the 2020 Olympic games when they compete in the European Olympic qualifiers in Kazan, Russia next weekend.
The 24-year-old earned a reputation as one of the game’s lethal finishers when her devastating speed helped her score the most tries in the 2018-19 HSBC Women’s World Sevens Series. She finished the world series with 35 tries, one more than Canada’s Bianca Farella and four more than Australia’s Michaela Blyde.
Crowe and her family are proud of her achievements but all she can think about now is the European leg of the Olympic qualifiers.
“They (her family) are pretty grounded, like I am. They are very proud, but they wouldn’t be throwing a party for me, because they know I wouldn’t want that,” Crowe was quoted as saying by The 42. “But my mam is looking for more shelves now in the house.
“It was huge honour to get. It hasn’t really sunk in because our focus is these two tournaments, and I don’t like to think outside of those boxes.
“I’ll enjoy it in the summer, on our off-season… I’ll probably appreciate it more when I don’t have an Olympic qualifier to focus on. That’s just a huge thing for us to build for.”
Crowe started out in athletics as a formidable sprinter and long-jumper. Her rugby journey began at 15 when her local rugby club in Tipperary started a women’s team and she changed from athletics to play the oval leather ball. Crowe believes her background in athletics is responsible for her incredible speed but said rugby is a different sport altogether.
She talked about the superb atmosphere and unity in the squad and said the team shares the same goal regardless of who is chosen or not.
“The team environment is much better. There’s 23 girls on our panel and to be doing something like that (qualify for the Olympics) for those girls who have to stay at home, the girls who are injured long-term – it’s a hard thing to accept when you’re injured or not selected – so doing it for them is huge. Then going out on the field and doing it for the six girls beside you is a huge moment.”
“We all get along really well. I think it’s because we’re all going for the same goal. We all want to be at the Olympics.
“So we’re all on the same page, the same level and so it’s easy to bond with a team then, knowing everyone’s going to work really hard to achieve what we want to achieve.”
The European Olympic qualifiers kicks off on July 13th.”
Main photo: Irish Rugby