Patrick O’Leary demonstrates competitive mettle in winning ‘B’ Final

Patrick Flanagan produces a season best performance in the pool as cyclists struggle

Patrick O'Leary narrowly failed to make his second successive Paralympic KL3 final but demonstrated his competitive mettle in winning the 'B' Final. The Cork born paddler had finished sixth in Rio but this time around was just edged out in his semi-final despite posting a season-best time.

His fourth place meant the 48-year-old NUI Galway chemistry lecturer was rerouted to the B final and there he produced an assured performance to come out on top. He will race in the Va’a (VL3) semi-final overnight - he is the European champion - hoping to qualify for the final.

Looking ahead he said: “I know what I’m capable of. I know what it feels like to do a really good run. If I do that and someone’s ahead of me that’s fine. If I do that and people aren’t ahead of me, that’ll be even better.”

At the rain soaked Fuji International Speedway it proved a frustrating day for the remainder of Team Ireland's cyclists. The conditions played a huge part in Ronan Grimes' road race as only 11 riders were still in the race after the first lap. Disaster was to strike for the Galway man as his bike jack-knifed under him as he tried to avoid another crash. He battled on bravely finishing 11th.


It was the exact same finishing position for Roscommon's Richael Timothy as she completed her programme in the C1-C3 road race while the men's tandem duo of Eamon Byrne (pilot) and Martin Gordon failed to finish, withdrawing soon after the start.

In the pool Patrick Flanagan produced a season best performance when finishing fifth in the S6 100m backstroke heats. He summed up the Tokyo Paralympic experience: "The team atmosphere has been unbelievable since we left.

“The camaraderie and support of the staff and the athletes has just been so good and I think you’ve seen that in the pool. Not only are people medalling but they are PB’ing and that’s just so good and I’m so happy to be part of this team.”

Ireland Schedule Day 11


1:38am: F40 Shot Putt, Mary Fitzgerald

11:12am: T37/38 1500m Final, Michael McKillop


2:19am: VL3 Canoe semi-final, Patrick O’Leary (*final 3.48am subject to qualifying)


4:30am: SH2 R9 Shooting, Philip Eaglesham

Ireland Schedule Day 12


22:30: T53 Wheelchair Marathon, Patrick Monahan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer