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26775-Paul Keogan photo

Paul Keogan

Athletics

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T37

Further personal information

Residence
Dublin, IRL
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker, Teacher
Languages
English, Gaelic
Higher education
Pharmacy - Trinity College: Dublin, IRL

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up Para athletics in September 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. He entered his first competition the following January in Athlone, Ireland.
Why this sport?
After finishing his studies in pharmacy, he decided that he wanted to become a professional athlete. His neighbour, Irish Olympic hurdler Sean Cahill, put him in contact with the head of the Irish national Para athletics team. "I remember walking down the street one night and the thought just came into my head 'I want to be an athlete'. I went on a 20-minute walk and over that time I formulated the entire plan to quit pharmacy, start training to be an athlete, go to Rio, do the Paralympics and by the time I got home I had the whole plan formulated. Watching the 2012 Paralympic Games in London put the idea into my head."
Name of coach
John Shields, IRL, from 2015
Training Regime
He trains six times a week at either Morton Stadium or the Sport Ireland Institute in Dublin, Ireland.

International debut

Year
2016
Competing for
Ireland

General interest

Nicknames
Keogy Bear (Instagram profile, 12 Jun 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Competing at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2017)
Most influential person in career
Coach John Shields. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2017)
Hero / Idol
US boxer Muhammad Ali. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"There is an opportunity in every situation." (Athlete, 12 Jul 2017)
Awards and honours
Illness meant he missed about six weeks of training and was unable to compete at the 2016 European Championships in Grosseto, Italy. (rte.ie, 20 Dec 2016)

In 2015 an injury prevented him from competing until June. (the42.ie, 29 May 2016)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (Instagram profile, 12 Jun 2018)
Impairment
In 2009 he sustained a brain haemorrhage after he was elbowed in the head while playing Gaelic football. On his 17th birthday he was diagnosed with an aneurysm in his brain and was forced to undergo surgery. During the operation he had a stroke, which resulted in paralysis on the left side of his body. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2017; the42.ie, 29 May 2016)
Other information
OLYMPIC HEARTACHE
He was disqualified from the T37 400m event at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, due to a false start caused by his impairment. "I get twitches every so often as a result of my condition. I got a twitch at the start line and it was deemed a false start. One false start and you're out of the Games. A lot of people had the same issue, but that didn't change things. I'm more than capable of running 400m but normally at 300m my impairment flares up, but I'm working on it." (rte.ie, 15 Sep 2016; thejournal.ie, 09 Feb 2018)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 400 m T37 Heat 1 2016-09-15 9999
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T37 Heat 1 2017-07-17 6
Men's 200 m T37 Final 1 2017-07-18 7
Men's 400 m T37 Heat 2 2017-07-22 2
Men's 400 m T37 Final 1 2017-07-23 5