Paralympics Ireland have today announced the 11 person team that will represent Ireland at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai from November 7th to November 15th.
Michael McKillop will make his much anticipated return to a major championships for the first time since his World Para Athletics Championships gold medal win in London in 2017. The Paralympic legend suffered a major injury but will be hoping to recapture the form that made him one of the greatest Paralympians of all time. The fastest Paralympian on earth, Jason Smyth, will aim to continue his incredible winning streak to claim an 8th World Championship medal and his 18th major championship to add to his collection in an unbeaten career.
Galway native, Alex Lee, will make history as he becomes Ireland’s first ever ‘blade runner’ when he competes for Ireland in the 100m and 200m T64 heats. World ranked number 2 high jumper, Jordan Lee, will also compete at his first world championships as will David Leavy and Shot Putter, Mary Fitzgerald. Conor McIlveen will also be making his first appearance at a World Championships in the T38 400m.
Cork’s trio of discus throwers will also compete for World Championship glory as Orla Barry, Noelle Lenihan and Niamh McCarthy will all look to repeat their podium success from London 2017. European Champion T13 1500m runner, Greta Streimikyte, will hope to continue her recent improvement as she will target medal success in Dubai.
Podium success will carry even more importance for Team Ireland as a Top 4 finish will secure a slot for Irish athletes at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Speaking about the naming of the Irish team that will compete at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, James Nolan, Head of Para Athletics with Paralympics Ireland said ‘We have a great mix of experienced and rookie athletes in the team, for 5 athletes this will be their first World championships (Mary, Jordan, Conor, Alex and David) and there are also 6 very experienced athletes that have won medals at Major championships.’
‘World Para athletics is developing rapidly and standards at World level are tremendously high but this team is exceptionally talented and will make an impact in Dubai.’
‘We are off on camp next week to Portugal to fine tune and get some quality work done in good weather conditions prior to travelling out on November 2nd.’
2019 World Para Athletics Championships 2019 Team Ireland
Niamh McCarthy, F41, Discus
Noelle Lenihan, F38, Discus
Jason Smyth, T13, 100m
Greta Streimikyte, T13, 100m
Orla Barry, F57, Discus
Alex Lee, T64, 100m & 200m
David Leavy, T38, 1500m
Jordan Lee, T47, High Jump
Mary Fitzgerald, F40, Shot Put
Michael McKillop, T37, 1500m
Conor McIlveen, T38, 400m