On her debut at this level Ireland’s Niamh McCarthy has won a bronze medal in the discus final (F41 class) at the 2015 IPC Paralympic Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar today. McCarthy, from Carrigaline in Cork, showed little sign of nerves recording a best distance of 23.66m with her final throw to take her first ever major championship medal in impressive style. Amaimia of Tunisia took silver with 24.83m and reigning Paralympic champion Tlili also of Tunisia claimed gold with a massive new world record of 29.70m.
Immediately afterwards McCarthy said: “This is amazing; I’m absolutely delighted with the result. Being selected for the team was an honour in itself but actually bringing home a world championship medal for Ireland is more than I could ever wish for. Hopefully it’s just the first of several for us this week.”
Paying tribute to Niamh’s achievement team manager and head of athletics at Paralympics Ireland James Nolan said: “I’m delighted for Niamh, it was a pressure situation and she handled it like a seasoned professional. It’s also great to see our system works in that Niamh was inspired by the Paralympic Games, came to our talent ID day after London, was put on our fast track panel and through her dedication and our support has progressed in three years to become a World Championship medallist.”
Double Paralympic medallist and world record holder Michael McKillop was next out for the Irish team. The Glengormley man looked in control winning his 800m heat in a season’s best of 2:07.16 to advance to tomorrow’s final to defend his world title.
Fellow double Paralympic champion Jason Smyth was the final Irish athlete in action today. The Derry sprinter comfortably won the third heat of the T13 100m easing to the line in 10.79 seconds to advance to tomorrow evening’s final, also intent on retaining his world title.
Smyth and McKillop are the only Irish athletes in action tomorrow in what could be a super Saturday for this Irish team; Smyth in the T13 100m final at 4.25pm Irish time and McKillop due out almost ninety minutes later at 5.54pm in the T38 800m final.
Over 1400 athletes from 100 countries are competing in 214 medal events in Doha, being held in the 12,000 capacity Suhaim Bin Hamam stadium in the Qatar Sports Club.
The Irish team is proudly sponsored by Allianz, an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.