Niamh competed for Ireland at two Paralympic Games at Rio 2016 and the deferred Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games earlier this year. The Cork native competed in the F41 Discus event with the highlight of her career coming at the Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 when she won a silver medal with her second last effort thanks to a throw of 26.67m.
Niamh enjoyed a brilliant career that began with her debut in 2013. She claimed her first medal at a major championships at the European Championships in 2015 when she won the bronze before going on to win silver in Rio followed by silver at the 2017 World Championships, gold at the 2018 European Championships and Bronze at the 2019 edition of the World Championships.
The Carrigaline native will now retire as the reigning European Champion after winning that title at the European Championships earlier this year and her final appearance came when representing her country with pride at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Speaking about her retirement Niamh McCarthy said ‘Now is the right time for me to step away from the sport having competed on the biggest stage in Tokyo one last time. I have loved every minute of it, I have made great friends, seen some wonderful places and reached heights that I could only imagine when I turned up to a talent ID day back in 2013. I am now going to concentrate on my own life and career away from the throwing circle but I will always have a keen interest and love for Paralympic Sport. I want to thank all of those that have supported me on my journey in sport; my family, friends, coaches, Paralympics Ireland, Sport Ireland and so many others, I think that I have given you all some good memories, I know I will take a lot of great memories away from my time as a high performance athlete’.
Eimear Breathnach, President of Paralympics Ireland paid tribute to Niamh McCarthy ‘‘Niamh has represented her country with distinction and has provided some wonderful moments along the way. I would like to congratulate Niamh on a fantastic career and, on behalf of all in Paralympics Ireland, I would like to wish her all the best in the future.’’
Dave Malone, High Performance Director at Paralympics Ireland said ‘‘Niamh McCarthy has had an excellent career as one of the very best discus throwers in the world. She has achieved on the biggest stage at multiple European and World Championships along with winning silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Paralympics Ireland will now work closely with Niamh to help her transition away from sport and provide all the supports that she may need for her next chapter’’