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Saturday 21 October 2017

Greta goes for London glory

Swords athlete Greta Streimikyte is heading to London for the World Championships
Swords athlete Greta Streimikyte is heading to London for the World Championships

John Manning

A 21-year-old athlete from Swords has been selected to join an elite team of ten competing for Ireland at the Para-Athletics World Championships in London which starts on Friday at the London Olympic Stadium.

Greta Streimikyte who has already represented Ireland with distinction at the Paralympic Games in Rio, last year where she came fourth in the final of her 1,500 metre race for visually impaired athletes, will now join Team Ireland at the World Championships from July 14 to 23.

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 14, 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 history.

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.'

Greta will be aiming to go one better than in Rio and secure a medal at the World Championships but knows the competition will be tough.

The Swords para-athlete's extraordinary story of triumph over adversity is the subject of a new film called 'Greta' made by Fingal filmmakers, Brian Baneham and Robert Maguire. In that documentary film, the filmmakers follow Greta's preparation for these World Championships.

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 fantastic run. At 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.

Fingal Independent

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