Orla Comerford was the first of Team Ireland’s six athletes to compete at the Para Athletics World Championships in Paris. She laid down a marker on day 2 by posting a personal best of 12.14 in her heat on Sunday. A blistering start from Comerford in a tough field which included Toyko 2020 silver medalist Lamiya Valiyeva saw her place third overall as she booked herself a spot in Monday evening’s final.
Comeford came tantalizingly close to a bronze medal on day 3 in a final that had to go to a photo finish to crown first and second place and clocked Comerford’s fourth place only 0.06 of a second away from the podium.
Her fourth-place finish was enough to qualify the first slot for Team Ireland for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris next summer.
Speaking after the final Comerford said, “Honestly, I’ve mixed emotions about it, I came here to be top four, and I can’t put into words how delighted I am to finish top four. It takes a massive weight off me for next year. Obviously, after yesterday’s run, I was hoping for bronze, but it wasn’t to be.”
Greta Streimikyte also took to the track during session 1 of day 3 for the 1500m T13 final. It was a tough field that included the Tokyo 2020 Silver medalist Liza Corso (USA).
A fast start saw Streimikyte leading the pack for over 400m, however as the race progressed, she found herself fighting for the illusive third place which ended up being just beyond her reach.
Her time of 4:33.27 is a new European record, and her fourth-place finish also secures a slot for Team Ireland for Paris 2024.
Speaking after the race Streimikyte said, “I’m kind of between fourth and fifth, it would be nice in a major world championships or Paralympic Games to move from that position. Today didn’t work out the way I wanted I need to come back, and rethink is there anything I could do differently. There’s always room to improve.”
The next of the Irish athletes to compete is Shauna Bocquet who will make her world championship debut on Wednesday, day 5 of the championships. Bocquet will race in the T54 1500m heat at 10:20am Irish time. This will be the first of three events for the Craughwell native as she also races in the T54 100m and T54 400m later in the week.
Para Athletics World Championships Team Ireland Results
- Day 2: Orla Comerford, 100m T13 – Heat 2, 12.14, – 3rd place
- Day 3: Greta Streimikyte, 1500m T13 Final, 4:33.27 – 4th place
- Day 3: Orla Comerford 100m T13 Final, 12.22 – 4th place