Paralympics Ireland has announced a team of ten for the 2017 Para Athletics
World Championships which are set to take place in the iconic London Olympic
stadium from July 14th until 23rd inclusive. The team includes
three vision impaired athletes: Jason Smyth, Greta Streimikyte and Orla
In total the Irish team boasts five Paralympic medallists and all ten
athletes competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Led by multiple Paralympic
gold medallists and defending World champions Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop
this experienced team also features Cork's trio of throwing Paralympic
medallists Noelle Lenihan, Orla Barry and Niamh McCarthy.
All five secured podium finishes at the last World Championships in 2015, as
did Deirdre Mongan who is also named. Middle distance runner Greta Streimikyte
will make her World Championship debut, as will Dublin sprinter Orla Comerford.
Meath man Paul Keogan will race over 200m and 400m with Kildare wheelchair
racer set to challenge over 800m and 1500m, as his favoured event; the marathon
is not on the London programme.
For the first time ever both the World Para Athletics Championships, and the
IAAF World Championships will be held in the same city in the same summer
across twenty days making it the world's biggest sporting event of 2017.
The Para Championships precede its able-bodied equivalent getting underway
on July 14th, and already over 230,000 tickets have been sold for the Para
Athletics World Championships making it by far the biggest in the event's
Speaking at the announcement Irish team manager James Nolan said: 'It's
a great honour to lead such an experienced and talented group of athletes. The
team has progressed dramatically over the last number of years through their
own hard work, and that of their home coaches in addition to the support we've
been able to provide.
The athletes will undoubtedly enjoy performing in front of what is set
to be a massive crowd, that will include many Irish supporters.Medals are
incredibly tough to secure at World level but this group of athletes have done
it before so will certainly be aiming for that podium again in London.'
Smyth is the reigning Paralympic 100m & 200m and World Record holder in
each. Jason was “discovered” at our 2005 May Games at ALSAA, beside Dublin
Airport. In May 2017 Jason returned for what we now call MayFest to help out in
the promotional and organizational side. Jason joined the Board of Vision
Sports Ireland as Director of Strategy and Development last January.
2014, Jason also won double gold at IPC Athletics European Championships in
Swansea, Wales and went on to scoop the T12 100m title at the World
Championships in Doha in 2015. Jason was also crowned “Fastest Paralympian On
The Planet” when he won at the Rio 'One year to Go' celebration event.
the Rio Paralympic Games he added yet more medals to his collection by claiming
gold in the 100m event, with a time of 10.64. The 200m event was removed from
the Paralympic Games programme following London 2012.
Streimikyte is a past pupil of Rosmini Community School
in Drumcondra and is member of Clonliffe Harriers Athletics Club, Greta made
her debut for the Irish Para-Athletics team in June 2016 when she competed in
the IPC Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy. There, she
competed in the T13 1,500m final and came home with a bronze medal after a
the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games she placed third in her heat and advanced to the
final where she ran a lifetime best time of 4:45.06 finishing an impressive
fourth place; a tremendous achievement.
was a guest of Vision Sports at MayFest 2017 and also attended our post Rio reception
with NCBI last December.
student of International Relations in DCU, Greta started her running career
thanks to her parents. Originally from Lithuania she is a triplet and has
a condition called retinopathy brought about by being in a incubator at birth.
She moved to Ireland in 2010 and became an Irish citizen in 2015.
Comerford is a Raheny Shamrocks club
member and completed her Leaving Cert in 2016 and went from one big test
directly into another as she represented Ireland at the Paralympic Games in
came 4th and achieved a personal best in Paralympic competition during her 100m
heats with a time of 12.81, securing herself a place in the T13 100m finals. In
the finals she placed 8th with a time of 12.87. This experience will stand to
Orla as she continues to compete.
was a guest of Vision Sports at our joint reception with NCBI last December.
cites fellow T13 athlete Jason Smyth along with Derval O'Rourke as her
Irish schedule and profiles available on www.paralympics.ie/competitions