Saturday 1 October 2016

Irish Paralympic team targeting record-breaking gold medal haul

David Kearns

Published 09/09/2016 | 02:30

Ireland supporters during the men’s 7-a-side football match between Ireland and Ukraine at Deodoro Stadium at the Rio Paralympics. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Ireland supporters during the men’s 7-a-side football match between Ireland and Ukraine at Deodoro Stadium at the Rio Paralympics. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Ireland's Paralympians are going for gold as they bid to make Rio 2016 the country's most successful Games.

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James Scully and Greta Streimikyte are in contention for medals at Rio after a blistering start. Meath swimmer Scully posted a season's best on the inaugural day in the S5 200m freestyle, finishing third in his heat and booking a place the final.

Streimikyte put herself in medal contention on the track after she came third in her heat of the T13 1500m.

There were no fewer than six Irish teams and athletes taking part on the first day of the Games.

Ailbhe Kelly had the honour of being Ireland's first representative in action in Rio. The 17-year-old swimmer finished seventh in heat two of the women's 400m freestyle and 13th overall.

The youngster still has two more events, the 100m backstroke and the 100m freestyle.

Sprinter Jason Smyth is expected to put in a strong defence to his T13 100m title .

The world number one is going for a third straight Paralympic gold medal after smashing world records in Beijing and London.

The Irish seven-a-side cerebral palsy soccer team were also in action yesterday and they were defeated 6-0 by Ukraine. Despite the loss, there were jubilant scenes as hundreds of Irish fans came out to cheer the team on.

Irish Independent

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