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Rohan adds to Irish gold rush

IRELAND'S stellar performance at the London Paralympics shows no sign of abating after Mark Rohan's gold medal helped Ireland secure its 13th medal of the Games.

Rohan's stunning display at Brands Hatch capped an incredible day for Ireland's paracycling team after the tandem teams of James Brown and Damien Shaw and Catherine Walsh and Fran Meehan earlier claimed bronze in their time trial events.

But Westmeath's Rohan was the star turn, churning out a brilliant performance on the undulating track which caused many problems for the hand-cyclists competing.

He finished 11 seconds ahead of Israeli Koby Lion, who had been occupying first place after two laps of the track, to claim Ireland's sixth gold of the Games.

The former Westmeath U21 footballer, who is paralysed from the chest down after a motorbike accident in 2006, was ecstatic with his performance after admitting he was feeling the pressure in the lead-up to the race.

"I'm overwhelmed, to be honest. I'm just so delighted for the whole team," he said. "I'm just delighted to be able to get a medal to give it all back -- there was a lot of expectation on myself. I stayed focused. They guys around me kept me focused.

"With 20 minutes to go to the start, during the warm-up, I could hear Damien and James coming through with a medal and then Fran and Catherine coming through with another one. They inspired me to go on and do what I had to do."

Rohan added: "Once Bethany (Firth) got the first medal I really really wanted one of my own.

"I just kept envisioning myself on the starting ramp and I just concentrated on putting out the watts.

"(Coach) Brian Nugent came up with a game plan and it worked perfectly."


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