The Irish para-athletics squad continued to perform well on the final day of the IPC Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy today.
Conor McIlveen was first in action for the squad, contesting the T38 800m final. Pacing himself well, McIlveen was unlucky not to place in the medals as, after a strong battle in the final 200m, he was just pipped to the bronze by Christoffer Schultz Vienberg of Denmark.
However, McIlveen had a lot to celebrate as he smashed his Personal Best time in the race to finish in a fantastic 2.13.79.
“Coming home with a three-second PB is a fantastic feeling,” McIlveen said afterwards. “I’m very proud of how much I’ve improved over the season – today was a great day for running. It was a great and competitive race and gave me the opportunity to show what I can do. I felt a bit nervous going in, but not as bad as Sunday in the 1,500m which was my Championship debut!
“Today was my best race and I felt I could be competitive in my class and against the best in Europe. Hopefully I’ll get selected on the squad going to Rio and in the coming months improve on the fantastic experience from here. Thanks to Paralympics Ireland for giving me the opportunity to compete at the European Championships, to all the staff for their help and expertise, to my family for making the trip over here and everyone at home who has supported me, especially my coach Malcolm McCausland for everything he has done for me.”
Also speaking afterwards, Para-Athletics Team Manager James Nolan said: “I was very impressed with Conor in the 800m today. He went out hard to give himself every chance and looked very smooth at speed.
“He battled hard in the last 200m taking himself up to fourth and a massive Personal Best time of 2.13.”
Last up for the Irish was Lorraine Regan who competed in the F56 Javelin final. In what was an extremely competitive event, Regan threw a best throw of 16.16m to finish in fifth place.
Elsewhere, Ireland secured five medals at these championships with Noelle Lenihan and Orla Barry securing gold, Niamh McCarthy taking home silver and Deirdre Mongan and Greta Streimikyte winning bronze.
The Irish para-athletics squad is proudly sponsored by Allianz, an official partner of Paralympics Ireland.