Lee Helps Irish End Week on a High
It was a positive weekend for the Irish Para athletes as they recorded positive results in a number of events.
Jason Smyth got his season off to a flyer as he raced through the streets of Manchester in the rarely run 150m event to win his race in a time of 15:82. Elsewhere, Patrick O’Leary competed in the Sprint Canoe World Cup in Szeged and recorded a new personal best time of 41.068 in the 200m event to win his heat and qualify for the final. That final yielded a 6th place finish which sets Patrick up well for future events.
The bulk of the weekend’s action took place in Rieti, Italy at the 2018 World Para Athletics 2018 Grand Prix Event. Paul Keoghan was the first to race on Friday and he was just 1 second off his PB time in a mixed class race in the 400m, his time of 56:86 was good enough for third in a mixed classification event. David Leavy then recorded a superb victory in the 1500m as he lead from start to finish in a time of 4:25:35. The final event on Friday saw Niamh McCarthy compete and win in the discus as she recorded her second best ever throw of 28:51m which was also a new European Record.
On Saturday, Orla Comerford, was in great form as she ran her best time of the year to dominate and win the 100m in a time of 12:72. Orla Barry then kept up the Irish momentum as she threw a seasons best in the discus as her 27:98 was good enough to win the event. The final Irish action on Saturday involved Noelle Lenihan who will be satisfied with her throw of 30:75m in a mixed class event.
Jordan Lee was the final Irish competitor on Sunday morning when he competed in the High Jump. The Kerry youngster has been showing glimpses or real potential and he delivered on that as he claimed first place in the event.
Head of Paralympics Athletics James Nolan, said ‘this was a very encouraging week for our athletics team. It is pleasing to see all of our athletes at, or near, their best and the hope is that we can continue to improve as we build towards European Championships in August.’