First 5 Athletes to Represent Team Ireland at Tokyo2020 Paralympic Games Announced

21 July 2021; Power lifter Britney Arendse at the National Sports Campus Conference Centre, Abbotstown in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Paralympics Ireland have today announced the first five athletes that will represent Team Ireland at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The 5 athletes will represent 5 different sports and they are Colin Judge (Para Table Tennis), Britney Arendse (Para Power Lifting), Phil Eaglesham (Para Shooting), Kerrie Leonard (Para Archery) and Pat O’Leary (Para Canoe)


Three of the five athletes will be competing at the Paralympic Games for the first time whilst Pat O’Leary and Phil Eaglesham will both be making their second appearances at the Paralympic Games having previously competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.


Colin Judge will hope to maintain some excellent form that saw him reach the semi finals of the Para Qualifying Tournament in Slovenia in June. Kerrie Leonard will compete at her first games in archery after enduring a disrupted qualification campaign due to the Covid pandemic that saw her opportunities to compete internationally become very limited. Britney Arendse is the Junior World Record Holder in the 73kg category with a lift of 98 kg in 2019 and she has continued to progress into a top class athlete since then.


Phil Eaglesham will return to the Paralympic Games after representing Ireland with distinction at the Rio 2016 Games. Phil secured his place at the Tokyo Paralympic Games with thanks to an outstanding performance at the World Championships in Australia in 2019 when he won Ireland’s first ever World Championship medal in Para Shooting.


Pat O’Leary has produced some of his best ever form in recent weeks as he was crowned European champion last month. The Galway based lecturer in NUIGalway was the first ever man to represent Ireland in Para Canoe when he finished 6th in Rio and now he will race in two events in Tokyo including the new ‘Va’a’ category.


Paralympics Ireland Chef de Mission, Neasa Russell announced the team saying “I am delighted to be able to announce the first five Irish athletes that will represent our country at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Being selected for the Paralympic Games is an incredible achievement for any athlete, it is the culmination of all of their hard work and dedication. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Pat, Phil, Britney, Kerrie and Colin on their selection, I know that they will represent all of us with distinction and I can’t wait to see them all compete in Tokyo.”


Team Ireland- Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games


Para Archery                      Kerrie Leonard                  Compound Women Open

Para Canoe                         Pat O’Leary                         VL3 & KL3

Para Power Lifting            Britney Arendse               73kg

Para Shooting                    Phil Eaglesham                  SH2

Para Table Tennis             Colin Judge                         M3

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