| 11.6°C Dublin

Kearney and Barry raise the roof with bronze double

THE medals just keep on coming for the Irish team in London as showjumper Helen Kearney and discus thrower Orla Barry secured bronze medals last night.

Wicklow's Kearney collected her third medal in London after winning an individual silver and team bronze on Sunday, while Cork's Barry claimed her first medal in her second Paralympics late last night at the Olympic Stadium.

The 21-year-old European champion from Ladysbridge threw 28.12 to earn 921 points in the F57/58 class with her first throw to secure a place among the last eight throwers in third.

One by one her rivals failed to match that score and, when she took her last three throws, Barry knew at least bronze was guaranteed.

At 10.15, more than three hours since her first throw as the event was delayed due to technical difficulties, Barry got her second chance but couldn't further her distance and had to settle for bronze, an improvement on her fifth-placed finish in Beijing.

Earlier, Kearney added to her personal tally in the Individual Freestyle Test IA at Greenwich Park.

Kearney and Mr Cool occupied second place with two riders to go after scoring 78.450.


Unfortunately, she watched on as Singapore's Laurentia Tan posted 79.000 with the next effort before Italian Sara Morganti couldn't match their efforts and the Irish rider could relax.

Speaking after the result a delighted Kearney, who has Friedreich's Ataxia, an inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system, was over the moon with her third medal.

"My first games and three medals, I cannot even put into words how it feels," she said.

"The team bronze is fantastic. The team worked so hard that it was a great achievement for us all and it is testament to all our hard work that we secured the bronze.

"Mr Cool was much more relaxed today. The crowd was louder today and I was conscious of this but it worked out well. We both were relaxed and it showed in the result."

The medals bring Ireland's tally to 10 and leaves the team in 14th on the medal table.

Fellow Irish rider Geraldine Savage from Dublin finished fifth with a score of 72.300.

James Dwyer finished in sixth place overall in the Equestrian Freestyle Test Grade IV Greenwich Park yesterday morning with a score of 74.40pc.

Meanwhile, Darragh McDonald could not repeat his gold medal performance from Saturday night as he finished eighth the 50m Freestyle S6 final.

Irish Independent