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Irish 15-year-old claims silver on Paralympic World Championships debut

Cork discus thrower Noelle Lenihan earned Team Ireland its fourth medal in Qatar today.

Noelle Lenihan pic Noelle with her coach Dave Sweeney. Source: Marcus Hartmann/SPORTSFILE

IRISH TEENAGER NOELLE Lenihan has marked her debut appearance at the IPC Paralympic Athletics World Championships with a silver medal in the discus throw.

The 15-year-old Charleville native, who trains with the North Cork Athletics Club, showed remarkable composure in Doha today to record a lifetime best and world record of 31.64m with her second throw in the women’s F38.

She went on to finish runner-up behind China’s Na Mi, who claimed gold with 33.59m.

Noell Lenihan Discus Source: Marcus Hartmann/SPORTSFILE

“I got a PB, world record and silver medal in my first major championship,” Lenihan told Paralympics Ireland.

“I turn sixteen in a few days time so naturally I’m going to gain more experience and improve my explosive power which can only results in further improvement.

“But for today I’m delighted! My Dad, who’s my coach, and my older siblings are all here in the crowd supporting me which is very special.”

Noelle Lenihan silver Source: paralympic.org

Irish national Paralympic throws coach Dave Sweeney added: “I can’t believe how well Noelle handled the pressure of competing at this level. She was like a seasoned pro.

Even after breaking the world record she remained focused on the small details that we agreed would make her throw well.

“At fifteen years old she has an incredible future in this sport. Hopefully they’ll have some great celebrations in North Cork Athletics Club!”

Noelle Lenihan Podium Source: Marcus Hartmann/SPORTSFILE

It is Ireland’s fourth medal at the championships after Jason Smyth (gold, T13 1o0m), Michael McKillop (gold, T38 800m) and Niamh McCarthy (bronze, F41 discus).

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