Saturday 1 October 2016

Paralympian champs bring haul of medals home to a heroes' welcome

Published 02/11/2015 | 02:30

(Left to right, back row) Physio Jon Faulkner, coach James Nolan, Michael McKillop, Noelle Lenihan, coaches Dave Sweeney and Jim Lenihan; (front row), Haley Fitzsimons, Deirdre Mongan, Orla Barry, Lorraine Regan, John McCarthy and Niamh McCarthy
(Left to right, back row) Physio Jon Faulkner, coach James Nolan, Michael McKillop, Noelle Lenihan, coaches Dave Sweeney and Jim Lenihan; (front row), Haley Fitzsimons, Deirdre Mongan, Orla Barry, Lorraine Regan, John McCarthy and Niamh McCarthy

With a haul of three gold, one silver and three bronze medals, Ireland's paralympic track and field team arrived home triumphant.

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Whoops and cheers greeted the men and women in green at Dublin Airport on their return from the IPC Paralympic Athletics World Championships in Doha.

As well as the hardware, they also returned with one new world record, two lifetime bests and three season's-best performances between the nine-strong team.

And among them was young athlete, Noelle Lehihan, from Charleville, Co Cork, who set a new world record for Discus F38 Class - and who only turns 16 on Wednesday.

Irish national paralympic throws coach, Dave Sweeney, said he couldn't believe how well Noelle handled the pressure of competing at this level.

"She was like a seasoned pro out there," he said.

Jason Smyth - the fastest Paralympian on the planet - returned to his London base last week to be with his wife, Elise, as they await the birth of their first child.

Irish Independent

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