Cork's Orla Barry wins Gold for Ireland at IPC Athletics European Championship
IRISH para-athlete Orla Barry has secured Ireland’s third medal of the 2016 IPC (International Paralympic Commitee) Athletics European Championships this afternoon in Grosseto, Italy, when she took home gold in the F57 Discus final.
Barry had to keep calm and focused during a competition which saw some good throwing from Bulgaria’s Ivanka Koleva and Germany’s Martina Willing, but as the Irish athlete was last up to throw, she knew exactly what she needed to do to take home gold, and went on to throw a fantastic Personal Best distance of 31.18m to ensure her place at the top of the podium.
This afternoon’s win marked Ireland’s third medal of the Championships, with Deirdre Mongan securing bronze on Day one (Saturday, June 11) in the F53/54 Shot Put final while fellow Cork athlete Noelle Lenihan took home gold and set a new World Record in the F38 Discus final on Day two (Sunday, June 12).
Speaking about yet another fantastic performance from the Irish squad, National Throws Coach Dave Sweeney said: "This is yet another great result for the Irish squad and it also shows how much Orla has come on, particularly in the last few months.
"It was a brilliant, brilliant performance and, as you can see from the results, she was way ahead of her competitors, so it was even better that she was able to lift her performance so much. She was looking to send a message out to the rivals she could be facing in Rio and she’s certainly done that!
"It’s her first ever Championship gold medal, her first time at the top of the podium so that’s pretty incredible. She is extremely happy, but feels she has more to give still. We're delighted."
There are no Irish athletes in action on Day four (Tuesday, June 14) as Meath man Paul Keogan has been withdrawn from the competition due to medical reasons.
Next up for the team will be Niamh McCarthy and Greta Streimikyte on Day 5 (Wednesday, June 15th) when they compete in the F40/41 Discus and T13 1,500m respectively.