Silver for Lenihan in Discus at Para Athletics World Championships




17 year-old Irish Paralympian Noelle Lenihan broke the F38 Discus championship record twice on her way to silver at the 2017 Para Athletics World Championships at the Queen Victoria Olympic Park in London tonight.

Having broken the record with a throw of 31.97m with her fourth attempt in the competition which also includes F37 athletes, Lenihan saved the best for last with a massive throw of 32.12m – just .02m shy of her own world record.

China’s Mi Na (35.08m), who is classified as F37, claimed the gold while China’s Li Yingli (30.97m) took the bronze.

Tonight’s impressive medal win for Lenihan, who is from Charleville and only recently completed her Leaving Certificate, completes an Irish hat-trick of silver medals in discus events following excellent performances by fellow Corkonians Orla Barry and Niamh McCarthy at the weekend. This is Ireland’s sixth medal of the championships.

Speaking after the event, Lenihan was delighted with the performance: “I absolutely loved it out there. I have one world championships in the bag so to be out there after a tough year with a lot of study was great. I did hope to beat the Chinese girl (Mi Na), you know anything is possible, but you’ve got to look at yourself and better yourself.

She continued: “I was only 2cm off the world record so that’s something to aim for in the future. It gives me a target. To me it doesn’t matter who I’m against. I’m very chilled but I’m very competitive too. I love the sport and I love throwing. I have that drive, especially in para sport, it’s something that comes to me very easily.

Lenihan also acknowledged the role her fellow Irish athletes have played in here career: “Jason (Smyth) and Michael (McKillop) are absolute role models for the rest of the team. They’ve done so much for sport and para sport.”

Throws coach Dave Sweeney added: “Noelle did a great job tonight. She started steadily which was the plan – just to get a solid legal throw. She went a little flat mid competition but really got it together at the end with a throw just 2cm off her own world record. I’m delighted for her and all her family who were here to support her.”

There are no Irish in action tomorrow, Friday, but a busy day lies in store on Saturday when Paul Keogan, Deirdre Mongan and Michael McKillop will all compete on the penultimate day of the championships.

Keogan will be the first to line out when he goes in heat two of the T37 400m at 12.40. Mongan will compete in the F53 shot final which gets underway at 19:12.

The day rounds off with Michael McKillop going in search of his second medal of the championships when he takes part in the T37 1,500m final at 19.50.

More than 1,100 athletes from 95 countries will compete over the ten days (14th – 23rd July) at the London Olympic Stadium with over 250,000 tickets already sold making it by far the biggest in the event’s history.

Paralympics Ireland are providing a media service for the duration of the Championships with daily press releases and all results live on Twitter. Sportsfile will be syndicating images daily reproduction fee free with further updates on Facebook and Instagram. A comprehensive website with full schedule, results and a live feed is also available at www.paraathleticschampionships.com. We also have a dedicated page on our website www.paralympics.ie/competitions Channel 4 in the UK will also screen 30 hours of live coverage over the duration of the Championships.

The Irish team is proudly supported by Flogas and Allianz; official partners of Paralympics Ireland.

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