Incredible seven medals won by Irish team at these Championships including three golds
Wheelchair racer John McCarthy rounded off the Irish interest on the concluding day of the 2015 IPC Paralympic Athletics World Championships in Doha with a sixth place finish in the T51 400m final. The Cork athlete, who has competed at three Paralympic Games, finished his second final of the week in a time of 1:35.39.
These Championships have been incredibly successful for this nine strong Irish team led by head of Athletics at Paralympics Ireland James Nolan. They return home on Sunday with an impressive seven medals; three gold, one silver and three bronze. In addition they boast one new world record, two lifetime best and three season’s best performances between them.
Speaking about the Irish team’s performance at these Championships Nolan said; “It was a fabulous team performance by both athletes & support staff. We had a performance target going into this championships and athletes performed superbly to surpass this target. Those who finished on the podium have an extremely high chance of qualifying for Rio and after a short three week break can start their preparation to peak at Rio 2016.It was an honour to lead & support this high performance team.”
Double Paralympic champion from the London 2012 Paralympic Games Michael McKillop ended a tough season plagued with injury and subsequent lengthy recovery in the best way possible with two gold medals in the 800m (T38 class) and 1500m (T37 class). Visually impaired sprinter Jason Smyth; recently crowned ‘the fastest Paralympian on the planet’ lived up to his name winning the 100m (T13 class) in a season’s best of 10.62sec.
One of the highlights of Doha 2015 from an Irish perspective was the emergence of talented new female athletes. Fifteen year old Noelle Lenihan from Charleville in Co. Cork showed none of the nerves one would expect from someone so young in her first major Championship claiming discus silver. The teenager, who has mild cerebral palsy threw a lifetime best with her very first attempt in competition and impressively followed it up with another best and new world record in her class to seal her place on the podium. Fellow Corkonian and discus thrower Niamh McCarthy also impressed on the opening day for the Irish claiming bronze in her final.
Keeping the Cork flag flying double Paralympian and London 2012 bronze medallist Orla Barry threw a season’s best in the F57 Discus final to claim bronze; making it the fifth major championship medal for the bilateral amputee. Deirdre Mongan, who was competing in her first major championships following the birth of her daughter last year will return home very pleased with a bronze medal in the F53 Shot put.
Another newcomer to this level of competition; Hayley Fitzsimons from Waterford, threw a lifetime best in the final of her event; the F40 Shot Put to claim fifth place overall. Three time Paralympian John McCarthy can be pleased with making the finals of both his events at these Championships; the T51 100m and 400m and finishing 8th and 6th respectively in them. Javelin thrower Lorraine Regan from Offaly was disappointed not to record a mark closer to her best finishing ninth in the F56 final. However two foul throws on her part were well over her lifetime best mark so some correction to her technique will hopefully ensure they register next time out.
After a short break these athletes will adjust their focus and start the ten month preparation path to secure qualification and selection for the Irish team for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
The Irish team will return home tomorrow to Dublin airport with their flight scheduled to arrive into Terminal 2 at 2.15pm. (EY041 from Abu Dhabi).
The Irish team is proudly sponsored by Allianz, an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.
Irish Results Overall
Jason Smyth, from Eglington, Co. Derry
T12 100m; GOLD in SB 10.62sec
Michael McKillop, from Glengormley, Co.Antrim
T37 800m; GOLD in SB 2:01.31 & 1500m; GOLD in 4:16.19
John McCarthy, from Dunmanway, Co.Cork
T51 100m; 8th overall in 25.40sec & 400m; 6th overall in 1:35.39
Orla Barry, from Ladysbridge, Co. Cork
F57 Discus Throw; BRONZE in SB of 29.82m
Deirdre Mongan, originally from Milltown, Co. Galway, living in Newcastle, Co. Down
F53 Shot Put; BRONZE with 4.02m
Lorraine Regan, from Kilcormac, Co. Offaly
F56 Javelin; ninth overall with 14.47m
Noelle Lenihan, from Charleville, Co. Cork
F38 Discus; SILVER with new F38 WR & PB of 31.64m
Niamh McCarthy, from Carrigaline, Co. Cork
F41, Discus; BRONZE with 23.66m
Hayley Fitzsimons, from Portlaw, Co. Waterford
F40 Shot Put; fifth overall with PB of 5.20m