Grandmother wins Silver at the World Transplant Games in Perth

The West of Ireland might have been asleep in the early hours of Wednesday morning while far away down under in Australia, one of their own, kidney transplant recipient Teresa Smyth was battling it out in a world darts competition. For her valiant effort, the 67-year-old grandmother from Williamstown, Galway (on the Mayo and Roscommon border) secured a Silver medal at the World Transplant Games in Perth.

“Brilliant, Just Brilliant! It’s great, I didn’t expect it but I’m delighted”, is how overjoyed Teresa described winning a Silver medal securing herself a place on the medals podium with an Australian heart transplant recipient who won Gold and a Hong Kong competitor who Teresa beat in a play off.  Her medals bring the tally won by Transplant Team Ireland to 2 Gold and 4 Silver so far at the Games which continue until this Friday, with golf and athletics events for members of the 14 strong Irish team still to compete in.  Before leaving Ireland for the Games Teresa,  who underwent her kidney transplant in 2001, said, “I am doing this in honour of my donor and their family who have given me a wonderful 22 years of good health.

Teresa kicked off her darts match in style, quickly establishing a clear lead in her group where the overall winner scored the highest scores. As winner in her first round group, she then proceeded to the playoffs where things got a little more difficult as 301 rules were then used – the first player to hit a zero score exactly wins.

Despite being the first competitor to get close to zero, she lost that game when she hit a double 19 rather than the single 19 needed. However, she bounced back in the second game winning this after a very tight finish.

The third game was won by the Hong Kong Competitor, Yeun Wah Ip so a further play off was needed.

In the fourth game, the Australian competitor Merrell Carter won, securing the coveted gold medal position. There was huge applause when Merrill, who had a heart transplant and is currently using a walking aid, received her medal.

The play off for Silver and Bronze was then between Teresa and Hong Kong competitor Yeun Wah Ip.  Teresa established an early lead, and unlike previous games was able to finish very quickly by scoring 10, thus winning the Silver medal.

Teresa was supported by her daughter Rachel, who lives in Perth and is due to give birth to her second child in three weeks. Teresa will stay on in Perth after the World Transplant Games to be with Rachel and her soon to be born baby .

Teresa’s friend Kathleen and her goddaughter Aoife were also there to cheer her on.