Ireland team for Paralympic Games in Rio confirmed

Jason Smyth
Jason Smyth

The Irish Paralympic Team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games was announced on Tuesday.

The team of 44 athletes, who will compete across nine different sports at the Games in Rio from September 7-18, includes three reigning world champions (athletics and cycling) and two defending Paralympic champions, Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop, who will be aiming to defend their titles in the 100m (T13) and 1,500m (T37) respectively.

Also featuring for athletics is London 2012 bronze medallist and World Championship silver medallist Orla Barry, who will be joined by World Championship silver medallist and world record holder, Noelle Lenihan along with European record holder Niamh McCarthy - both of whom will feature at a Paralympic Games for the first time.

Meanwhile in swimming, Dubliner Ellen Keane will be attending her third Paralympic Games at the age of 21, while James Scully will be returning for his second Games.

For the first time ever, Ireland will compete in canoeing at the Paralympic Games and it is also hoped that there will be Irish athletes representing their country in para-triathlon, with the qualification window for this sport scheduled to close later in July.

Chef de Mission for the Irish Team, Denis Toomey, said: “Team announcement day is a major milestone on Paralympic Ireland’s road to Rio. Qualifications and selections are complete and today we have announced those athletes who will represent Ireland at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“As Chef de Mission, it has been both an honour and a privilege to be tasked with telling the nation who the lucky athletes are and I certainly look forward to leading them all to Rio for the Games.”