Back to Leaving Cert for gold medallist Darragh

Claire Murphy

SWIMMER Darragh McDonald may have missed out on double gold at the Paralympics, but now he is diving into Leaving Cert studies to reach his dream of medicine.

Darragh (18) clinched the top spot in the 400m freestyle, bringing home the gold, but missed out during the 50m final.

However, he has another medal in sight -- he said the 50m final would help him focus on the 100m competition at the weekend.

The Gorey native began competing at Asgard swimming club in Wexford in 2006 and just two years later won silver in Beijing.

But Darragh said that he will have to refocus on his studies as soon as the Games have concluded.

"I'm going to be missing three weeks of sixth year. I just hope my friends can take down notes and that can be my safety net," he told the Herald.

"I will then be able to take the training down in intensity and focus on the studies. "I'm hoping to do a medical degree -- hopefully UCD."

Amputee Darragh said there is a renewed interest in the games for disabled athletes. "We were not getting the same coverage but it is starting to change now. I think people should realise that it is the same."