Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Day 10: Dunlevy and McCrystal land another gold medal

Irish duo battled elements in road race; Pat O’Leary wins B final; Flanagan last in pool

Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal celebrate after securing their second gold medal of the Tokyo Paralympics, in the B road race. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal celebrate after securing their second gold medal of the Tokyo Paralympics, in the B road race. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

 
  • Cycling (road): Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal land another stunning gold; Ronan Grimes and Richael Timothy both battle the elements to finish 11th.
  • Canoe: Patrick O’Leary wins KL3 B final, places ninth overall.
  • Swimming: Patrick Flanagan rounds off Team Ireland’s involvement in the pool.

Cycling

Irish duo Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal have landed another gold medal in Tokyo – this time in gruelling conditions in the Women’s B road race.

They saw off the Swedish pairing of Louise Jannering and Anna Svaerdstroem and the British pair of Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl, streaking away at the last to win in a time of 2.35.53 at the Fuji International Speedway. 

After a tense battle throughout, the Irish, Swedish and British athletes had put serious daylight between themselves and the rest of the field - with a medal virtually guaranteed towards the race's closing stages.

However Dunlevy and McCrystal had far too much at the finish, powering home to win in style as Unwin and Holl  took silver and Jannering and Svaerdstroem were narrowly forced out into bronze.

The gold adds to Dunlevy and McCrystal's victory in the B time trial, as well as the B 3000m individual time trial silver they won in the velodrome.

You can read the full report HERE.

Eve McCrystal, pilot, and Katie George Dunlevy in action during the Women’s B road race in Tokyo. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Eve McCrystal, pilot, and Katie George Dunlevy in action during the Women’s B road race in Tokyo. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Overnight Richael Timothy battled gruelling conditions to finish 11th in the C1-3 road race - pipping New Zealand’s Sarah Ellington to the line with a time of 1.21.22.

After her efforts on a soaking course, she said: “I didn’t really expect to be here at all, to be here was the goal and to give my all in each event. I can call myself a Paralympian now.

“Three years ago I was told to find something for myself to do – sport isn’t an option. But I kept pushing it that I wanted sport in my life that was how I found the paracycling and it gave me a purpose to get out and do something and now it is my livelihood.”

Eve McCrystal and Katie George Dunlevy were on the gold medal hunt on Friday morning. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Eve McCrystal and Katie George Dunlevy were on the gold medal hunt on Friday morning. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ronan Grimes also found himself battling the elements in the C4-5 road race, with the Galway rider coming off his bike as he also finished in 11th place.

Grimes’s bike jack-knifed under him as he tried to avoid a separate crash and he was unable to catch up with the main group afterwards, rolling home in a time of 2.29.21.

He said: “An honour to be here. I think every race I performed as well as I could. On the track I was unlucky with the fourth place but it was a performance to my best. Here in Fuji I am happy with how I performed here too. I am happy with my games, I couldn’t have done better.”

Team Ireland’s other road cyclists in action, Martin Gordon and Eamonn Byrne, were forced to pull out of the men’s B road race as the rain continued to fall in Tokyo.

Canoe

Patrick O’Leary finally got his Games underway on Thursday and he has been back in action this morning, and he was victorious in the KL3 B final after narrowly missing out on a place int he A final.

O’Leary needed to finish third in the KL3 semi-finals but finished fourth, despite clocking a time of 42.203 - his fastest of the year. His B final win, in a time of 42.416, saw him finish ninth overall.

O’Leary will be back on the water at the Sea Forest Waterway tomorrow in the VL3 Va’a semifinals (2.19am Irish time).

And for O’Leary, while missing out on the A final was a disappointment, he feels he is coming to the boil nicely: “The semi-final was tough. To be fourth when just three went through was difficult but I knew going in I’d have to give everything and still need to be a bit lucky the way the draw had gone. It was probably the tougher of the two semi-finals.

“That was probably the fastest time I’ve done this year and I was happy that I gave it all I had. Then, even though the time in the B final was .2 of a second slower, that was the best race I’d done this year and I’m very happy with that.

“There’s five in my VL3 semi, three to go through and you could probably cover us with a coin going over the line. It would be fabulous to make a final here but what’s important is that what I get out of the race what I want to.

Patrick O’Leary won his B Final in the KL3 on Friday morning. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Patrick O’Leary won his B Final in the KL3 on Friday morning. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

“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.”

Swimming

And Team Ireland’s involvement in the pool - which started on the opening day of the Paralympics - came to an end this morning, with Patrick Flanagan the final Irish swimmer in action.

Flanagan swam to fifth place in his heat of the S6 100m backstroke in a time of 1.26.81 - a season’s best performance.

And he reflected fondly on his Paralympics experience: “The Team atmosphere has been unbelievable since we left. I’ve done two Europeans, a world champs, loads of British championships and stuff and I don’t think we’ve ever had an atmosphere this good.

“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.”

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