Athletics

Nine Medals For Team Ireland At European Para Championships

The World Para Athletics European Championships came to a close last weekend on the 26th August. Ireland took home an impressive tally of 9 medals, with every female member on the team securing a podium finish in Berlin.

This was the sixth edition of the championships, with 600 athletes competing from 40 different countries. The Irish Paralympic team proved to be a formidable outfit on the international stage. We have compiled a round-up of the fantastic achievements of our Paralympic Athletes in Berlin.

Greta Streimikyte

Greta Streimikyte secured Ireland’s first gold medal at the championships where she stormed to victory in the T13 1500m final. Dominating the field, the Clonliffe Harriers athlete pulled away from Spain’s Izaskun Oses Ayucar and powered home in a time of 4.48.54.

Streimikyte, was born in Lithuania but has since become an Irish Citizen. She represented Ireland at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games running a lifetime best. Her condition known as retinopathy has led to some of her vision being impaired however this hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of the fastest women in her category.

With the World Para Athletics Championships just over a year away, the DCU student’s strong performance will mark her down as one of the favourites in Dubai.

Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Orla Barry

On the same day, Orla Barry took home gold in the Discus F57 final. With her longest effort reaching 28.76 metres, Barry claimed top spot ahead of Germany’s Martina Willing. Remarkably, all six of Barry’s throws would have been enough to win the competition. A sensational performance from the Cork athlete.

Barry, who is a bilateral amputee, has consistently been successful in the green jersey. She claimed bronze at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, silver at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, gold at the 2016 European Championships in Italy and silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Barry grabbed the gold medal after six throws and her longest effort was 28.76 metres, which put her ahead of second-placed Martina Willing of Germany.

Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Orla Comerford

It was a hugely successful championships for Orla Comerford as she claimed podium finishes in the T13 200m and the T13 100m.

The Dubliner claimed her first ever European Championship medal as she finished in third place in the T13 200m behind Ukraine’s Leilia Adzhametova and Portugal’s Carolina Duarte. Comerford ran a time of 26.76 seconds.

A few days later, Comerford ran in the T13 100m. Again, Comerford secured bronze with a time of 12.82 with Leilia Adzhametova and Carolina Duarte finishing first and second respectively.

It’s been a whirlwind of success for Comerford as she competed at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games just aged 19-years-old. Comerford is a visually-impaired sprinter who has shown incredible promise in recent years and with the World Games around the corner, she will be looking to continue her remarkable rise.

Noelle Lenihan

Noelle Lenihan is one of the finest discus throwers in the country and she is also one of the youngest members on the Irish Paralympics team. Lenihan came into the championships as the defending European Champion and she undoubtedly justified her tag as the best in Europe.

The Milford native, threw two world records of 32.28m and 32.95m to retain her Discus F38 title and claim gold.

Lenihan has now won five major championship medals at just the age of 18-years-old. Adding to her gold in Berlin, she won gold at the 2016 Paralympic Games, gold at the 2016 European Championships in Italy, as well as two silvers in the 2015 and 2017 World Games.

Niamh McCarthy

Niamh McCarthy capped off Ireland’s impressive performances in Berlin with a stunning performance of her own.

The reigning European Champion took home gold in the F41 discus whilst breaking the European Championship record on the way. A huge throw of 31.76m was ten metres further than any of her competitors could manage and will no doubt put her in contention to podium in Dubai at the World Para Athletics Championships.

The 24-year-old Cork athlete claimed silver at last year’s World Championships in London. Her throw of 31.76m retained her European title which she won in Italy two years ago.

The Irish Paralympic athletes have had great success in both athletics and swimming this month – find out how Ellen Keane, Nicole Turner and Ailbhe Kelly got on at the Allianz World Para Swimming European Championships in Dublin. Combined, that’s 12 international medals for the paralympians in just one month!!

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a media platform centred on bringing the latest Irish and international women’s sports news. Her Sport aims to empower women in sport, inspire more female participation, increase opportunity and level the playing field for future generations. Our objective is to create real and tangible change.

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