On behalf of everyone her at Fighting Blindness we wish our incredible ambassadors Jason Smyth and Orla Comerford and all the Irish team the very best of luck in the 2017 Para Athletics World Championships which are set to take place in the London Olympic stadium from July 14 to 23.
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 Patrick Monahan 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.
Speaking at the announcement Irish team manager James Nolan said: “It is 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.”
The Irish team is proudly supported by Allianz and Flogas – official partners of Paralympics Ireland.