Bronze for discus thrower Orla Barry at Paralympic Athletics World Championships

Double Paralympian Orla Barry has continued the impressive success of the Irish Paralympic athletics team at the World Championships in Doha claiming a bronze medal this morning in the F57 Discus final.

The twenty five year old Cork athlete threw a season’s best of 29.82m with her second attempt to secure a place on the podium. This is remarkably the fifth major Championship medal for bilateral amputee Barry, who memorably claimed bronze at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. The event was won by world record holder Saifi Nassima of Algeria with 34.31m with reigning European champion Stela Eneva of Bulgaria taking silver with a best of 32.25m.

Afterwards Barry said:

“I’m really pleased to make a world championship podium again. It’s been a long season so to save my best performance of the year for when it mattered is really satisfying. This is such a competitive class so I had to be on top form to be in with a chance; it’s a great feeling.”

Commenting on Orla’s performance nationals throws coach Dave Sweeney said:

“I’m absolutely delighted for Orla. She has prepared meticulously all year and put in a super human effort for her best throw all season to get this medal; it’s really well deserved. I think she can look forward with a lot of confidence to Rio but she should celebrate this performance first.”

He continued;

“A lot of credit goes to Orla’s support team who worked so well together on her behalf; physio, coaching, S & C, medical and psychology; this medal belongs to the whole team.”

Also competing at the same time as Barry was Galway athlete Deirdre Mongan in the F53 Shot Put final. Mongan, who returned to top level competition this year following the birth of her daughter last year finished fifth with a best of 4.02m. Mongan was disappointed not to throw closer to her lifetime best of 4.26m but the punishing heat in Doha certainly had a negative impact on her performance. The nature of her spinal cord injury affects the ability of her body to regulate her temperature and prevent overheating in such searing conditions. It must be noted that immediately following the completion of Deirdre’s final a protest has been lodged by three nations regarding an alleged illegal throwing action of two of the medallists. The outcome of this protest is currently pending.

In this evening’s session two Irish athletes will be in action. John McCarthy will line up in the heats of the T51m 100m hoping to advance to the final later on this evening. Another major championship debutant Waterford’s Hayley Fitzsimons in the final of the F40 Shot Put keen to gain valuable experience at this level.

The Irish team is proudly sponsored by Allianz, an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.