Noelle Lenihan is sportswoman of the month for October

Silver medalist in Discus at Paralymic Athletics World Championships sets Cork girl apart

Noelle Lenihan was second on her debut at World Championships. Photograph by Francois Nel/Getty Images.

Noelle Lenihan was second on her debut at World Championships. Photograph by Francois Nel/Getty Images.

 

As medal hauls go, the one the Irish team brought back from the Paralympic Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, last month was an impressive one, between them the nine athletes collecting three gold, one silver and three bronze medals.

While Michael McKillop and Jason Smyth contributed gold to the collection, McKillop winning the 800 and 1500 metres and Smyth taking yet another 100m title, the six women on the team – Orla Barry, Deirdre Mongan and World Championship debutantes Noelle Lenihan, Niamh McCarthy, Lorraine Regan and Hayley Fitzsimons – all had trips to remember too.

Cork women Barry and McCarthy both took bronze in the discus, while Mongan, the Galwegian now living in Down, also finished third in the shot put.

Offaly’s Regan, meanwhile, debuted with a ninth place finish in the javelin, and Waterford’s Fitzsimons registered a personal best to come fifth in the shot put.

Remarkable

She was beaten to gold in the end by F37 Paralympic champion Na Mi of China, but silver was a wonderful reward, for her and her coach – who happens to be her father Jim.

Irish paralympic coach Dave Sweeney was astonished by Lenihan’s cool, “she was like a seasoned pro out there,” he said. “I can’t believe how well Noelle handled the pressure of competing at this level.

“Even after breaking the world record she remained focused on the small details that we agreed would make her throw well.

“At 15 years old she has an incredible future in this sport. Hopefully they’ll have some great celebrations in North Cork Athletics Club.”

Lenihan, who has Cerebral Palsy, was elated – and already planning ahead as soon as that medal was placed around her neck.

“I got a PB, world record and silver medal in my first major championship,” she said.

“I’m going to gain more experience and improve my explosive power which can only result in further improvement.”

An outstanding debut in a major championship. There is lots more, on suspects, to come.

PREVIOUS MONTHLY WINNERS

December

Ann Marie McGlynn (Athletics)

January

Gráinne Dwyer (Basketball)

February

Sophie Spence (Rugby)

March

Niamh Briggs (Rugby)

April

Katie Walsh (Horse racing)

May

Leona Maguire (Golf) and Madeline Perry (Squash)

June

Katie Taylor (Boxing)

July

Sarah Byrne (Basketball)

August

Jenny Egan (Canoeing)

September

Rena Buckley and Briege Corkery (Camogie and Gaelic football)

*Awards run from December 2014 to November 2015, inclusive

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.