Irish Paralympic athlete, Orla Barry, is announced as brand ambassadorContinue reading
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Two Irish Paralympians featured in The Journey, a special supplement in today’s Irish Independent.Continue reading
Paralympics Ireland would like to express our sadness on the death of Rosemary Tallon who passed away suddenly at her home in Drogheda earlier this week.Continue reading
The IPC European Championships didn’t turn out as hoped for Sean Baldwin although the Newbridge man did show his character by overcoming a catalogue setbacks and hurdles to perform creditably in his final day of action.
Baldwin lost his leg after a serious car accident that claimed the life of the driver of his vehicle and almost his own when on a Tour of Duty with the Irish Army 10 years ago, and is no stranger to adversity.
The 45-year-old (he turns 46 on Tuesday) made history when becoming Ireland’s first shooting participant in a Paralympic Games in London last year. Having reached his first final in the men’s 10m air rifle standing category at the World Cup event in Stoke Mandeville last July, he was targeting a similar showing in the Mediterranean resort of Alicante during the past week.
Unfortunately, a stomach bug that struck three other competitors down left Baldwin feeling extremely unwell and unable to produce his best form.
Competition got under way with the 10m air rifle standing event in which he finished eighth three months previously but despite producing a personal best score of 593.4 could only secure a finish of 20th from a field of 30.
That was an indication of the incredibly high standard of competition that saw numerous World and European records broken during the week.
On Tuesday, Baldwin competed in the 10m air rifle prone but finished 48th of 57 entries with a cumulative score of 617.1.
He began feeling sick as the day progressed however. After a very uncomfortable night that made sleep impossible, was in no condition to compete in the 50m three prone event and had to withdraw.
Fortunately, he did improve sufficiently to train on Thursday evening and compete in the 50m rifle prone mixed elimination relay category on Friday.
And he recovered from a disappointing first series of 97.6 to finish with a total of 602.2 from his six series and record a 15th place finish of 26 participants. It was the closest Seán got to achieving his goal of making a final – agonisingly close, given that he was just 5.1 points off the 13th place position that would have sent him through.
Having endured so much during the week, the DFST clubman might have felt entitled to some fortune coming his way but it wasn’t to be, as his coach and the president of the National Target Shooting Association of Ireland (NTSA) Liam Crawford explained.
It was so close, with 13 going through to the final and Seán had problems with his ammo and his monitor, and to top it off, he got called for a random equipment check, which he passed. He had plenty of great shots though and there will be lots to work on for the next match.
Without question, Baldwin will have learned a lot from competing at this level, despite not being able to produce his best form for a variety of reasons and the experience is certain to stand to him as he builds towards Rio 2016.
The IPC Shooting European Championships get under way in the Spanish resort of Alicante on Monday and Sean Baldwin will be hoping to create a favourable impression throughout the week.Continue reading