Sunday 17 December 2017

Mccarthy defies weather to set personal best

John McCarthy made light of the inclement weather when setting a new personal best in finishing fifth in the final of the T51 100m at the IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon.

The searing heat of the opening two days and yesterday's morning session gave way to thunder, lightning, a headwind and heavy rain in the afternoon, but McCarthy was unconcerned as he capitalised on a good start to cross the line in 24.55.

Finnish world record holder and London Paralympic gold medallist Toni Piispanen was a comfortable victor.

McCarthy was a silver medallist in discus at the Athens Paralympics in 2004. An international wheelchair rugby player, he made the transition to the track and performed in his third Paralympics in London last year, having also competed at Beijing.

The 39-year-old from Dunmanway was delighted with producing a PB at a major championship in unfavourable conditions.

"I have to be happy with that. There was a +1.4 headwind, the track was wet and I pushed a 100m personal best," he said.

The head of Irish Paralympic Athletics, James Nolan, was equally pleased. "John has improved greatly over the past three years on the track. He had a great start and finished only 0.77 off bronze. He is improving year on year and that's all you can ask of an athlete."

There is just one Irish competitor today, with 16-year-old Heather Jameson looking to build on the experience of setting a season's best in the T37 200m semi-final on Sunday when she participates in the 100m semi-final in the morning.

The Dubliner will compete in the long jump tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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