New look Irish team for Para Athletics World Championships bring ‘youth and experience’

New look Irish team for Para Athletics World Championships bring ‘youth and experience’

A SIX-PERSON strong team will represent Ireland at the Para Athletics World Championships next month.

The new look Team Ireland features three Paralympic veterans and three new names to Irish para-athletics, Paralympics Ireland confirmed this morning.

Athletes, from left, Cathal Ryan, Mary Fitzgerald, Shauna Bocquet and Aaron Shorten

Among them, Greta Streimikyte, Mary Fitzgerald and Orla Comerford all represented Ireland at the Paralympics Games in Tokyo 2020.

Steimikyte and Comerford also competed at Rio 2016.

Mary Fitzgerald, left, and Shauna Bocquet at the Paralympics Ireland Team announcement

For Cathal Ryan, Aaron Shorten and Shauna Bocquet, next month’s competition in Paris marks their first major championship.

Making the team announcement, Paralympics Ireland’s Head of Para Athletics, James Nolan said: “There is a very nice mix of youth and experience in the team.

Greta Streimikyte will race in the 1500m

“It’s great to see the next generation of athletes already starting to make an impact on team selections.

“This will be a great learning experience for Shauna Bocquet T54, Cathal Ryan T46 and Aaron Shorten T20, who will compete for the first time at a major championship.

“The experience gained from the championships will stand to them in LA and beyond.”

Cork's Cathal Ryan will compete in the 400m

He added: “Experienced Paralympian’s Greta Streimikyte T13, Orla Comerford T13 and Mary Fitzgerald F40 will be looking to make an impact in the finals of their respective events in Paris.

“Competition will be fierce in Paris as it always is in Para-Athletics, the biggest, most competitive paralympic sport within the paralympic movement in terms of the number of participating athletes and countries.”

Galwegian, Shauna Bocquet, has been in excellent form as of late, posting five new personal bests in a variety of distances in Switzerland in May.

She followed this up by winning the Elite Wheelchair category at the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin in June.

Cathal Ryan, left, Shauna Bocquet and Aaron Shorten

She will line up in three races over the course of the world championships, namely the 100m, 400m and 1500m in the T45 category.

Cork’s Cathal Ryan and Carlow native Aaron Shorten have both impressed on the track so far this year in their respective disciplines.

Ryan will compete in the 400m (T47) with Shorten taking on the longer distance of 1500m (T20).

Mary Fitzgerald, Greta Streimikyte and Orla Comerford come to the team with five Paralympic games between them.

Carlow native Aaron Shorten will compete in the 1500m race

Streimikyte will race in the 1500m (T13) whille teammate Comerford will hope to make her mark in the 100m (T13). Fitzgerald will compete in the shot put (F40).

Team Ireland compete in the

The World Para Athletics Championships takes place in Paris from July 7 to 17.