Deirdre Mongan upgraded to Bronze at IPC Paralympic Athletics Championships

Ireland’s Deirdre Mongan saw herself upgraded to bronze following the completion of today’s F53 Shot Put final at the IPC Paralympic Athletics World Championships in Doha. Following a protest by several nations, including Ireland, the original top two finishers; Stetsyuk of Ukraine, and Nedham of Bahrain were disqualified for illegal throwing action. Deirdre’s medal brings to an impressive six the total won by this nine strong Irish team so far, at these Championships.

Mongan, who returned to top level competition this year following the birth of her daughter in 2014 recorded a best of 4.02m in today’s competition. Speaking after the medal ceremony she said: “While I was disappointed not to throw closer to my lifetime best of 4.26m achieved earlier this year I really struggled with the heat out there today. I just felt exhausted, in those kinds of temperatures my power is really affected. We had a long wait on the outcome of the protests so when news came through I was just so thrilled; it’s been a long road to get back to this level after having my daughter so to medal is a brilliant feeling.”

The nature of Mongan’s spinal cord injury affects the ability of her body to regulate her temperature and prevent overheating in such searing conditions. Commenting on the outcome national coach Dave Sweeney said: “I’m delighted for Deirdre. She’s worked so hard, showed such commitment and dedication to get herself back to be contesting the medals at this level. We, along with the other nations were clear that the action of the two throwers was not that of ‘putting’ the shot. They were essentially flinging the shot rather than putting it from their body, and the IPC jury agreed to ensure the right result prevailed.”

There were two Irish athletes in action in this evening’s session. Wheelchair racer John McCarthy made it through the heats of the T51m 100m to advance to the later final where he finished eighth overall in a time of 25.40sec. While this time was outside his best set earlier in the year, McCarthy, also has difficulty regulating body temperature in such difficult conditions and can certainly be counted as a major factor today.

Another major championship debutant on this Irish team Waterford’s Hayley Fitzsimons finished sixth in the final of the F40 Shot Put. Fitzsimons, from Portlaw, impressively threw a PB of 5.20m with her very first attempt in competition which was her best mark of her six.

This morning Double Paralympian Orla Barry continued the impressive success of the Irish Paralympic athletics team at the World Championships in Doha claiming a bronze medal in the F57 Discus final; her fifth major Championship medal in what is already a hugely successful career for the twenty five year old.

There will be no Irish athletes in action tomorrow. On Thursday Lorraine Regan will be the sole Irish athlete competing. The Offaly athlete will make her World Championship debut in the final of the F56 Javelin.

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