Irish para-athlete Deirdre Mongan has won Ireland’s first medal of the IPC Athletics European Championships this morning, when she secured bronze in the F53/54 Shot Put final.
Mongan was last to throw in today’s competition, in an event which saw Russia’s Mariia Bogacheva take gold, and Dimitra Korokida of Greece take silver.
From her first throw, Mongan – who is also a World Championship bronze medallist – booked her spot on the podium after she threw a distance of 4.10 and followed this up with throws of 3.84, 4.14, 4.23, 3.96 and 3.87.
Speaking afterwards, the Irish Para-Athletics team’s National Throws Coach, Dave Sweeney, stated: “That’s exactly the boost the Irish team needed starting these championships.”
“Deirdre has set the bar very high with her performance. She is very happy to have performed to that level at a major championships. It’s her first European medal and she finished so close to the silver medalist that her motivation in her preparations for Rio will increase a lot.”
Also speaking about the event, Irish Para-Athletics Team Manager, James Nolan said: “I was delighted to see Deirdre medal on Day One with her longest throw in a major championships to date.
“It’s a great start for the team and will inspire and increase the confidence of the other team members.”
Indeed, there’s a busy few days ahead for the Irish at the Championships which are taking place in Grosseto, Italy, as Conor McIlveen, Heather Jameson and Noelle Lenihan are all in action tomorrow (Sunday, June 12th), while Cork’s Orla Barry is next up for the Irish on Monday, June 13th.
A full schedule for the Irish team for the coming week is available here.
The Irish athletics team is proudly sponsored by Allianz, an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.