Paralympics Ireland has announced a team of ten for the 2017 Para Athletics World Championships which are set to take place in London, Great Britain, from 14-23 July.
The Irish team boasts five Paralympic medallists and all ten athletes competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Led by multiple Paralympic gold medallists and defending World champions Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop this experienced team also features Cork's trio of throwing Paralympic medallists Noelle Lenihan, Orla Barry and Niamh McCarthy.
All five secured podium finishes at the last World Championships in 2015, as did Deirdre Mongan who is also named. Middle distance runner Greta Streimikyte will make her World Championship debut, as will Dublin sprinter Orla Comerford. Meath man Paul Keogan will race over 200m and 400m with Kildare wheelchair racer set to challenge over 800m and 1500m, as his favoured event; the marathon is not on the London programme.
For the first time ever both the World Para Athletics Championships, and the IAAF World Championships will be held in the same city in the same summer across twenty days making it the world's biggest sporting event of 2017.
The Para Championships precede its able-bodied equivalent getting underway on July 14th, and already over 230,000 tickets have been sold for the Para Athletics World Championships making it by far the biggest in the event's history.
Speaking at the announcement Irish team manager James Nolan said: 'It's a great honour to lead such an experienced and talented group of athletes. The team has progressed dramatically over the last number of years through their own hard work, and that of their home coaches in addition to the support we've been able to provide.
The athletes will undoubtedly enjoy performing in front of what is set to be a massive crowd, that will include many Irish supporters.Medals are incredibly tough to secure at World level but this group of athletes have done it before so will certainly be aiming for that podium again in London.'
Irish team for 2017 Para Athletics World Championships, London 14th - 23rd July.
Jason Smyth (100m & 200m T13)
Michael McKillop (800m & 1500m T37)
Paul Keogan (200m & 400m T37)
Patrick Monahan (800m & 1500m T53)
Niamh McCarthy (Discus F41)
Orla Barry (Discus F57)
Noelle Lenihan (Discus F38)
Deirdre Mongan (Shot Put F53)
Orla Comerford (100m T13)
Greta Streimikyte (1500m T13)