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Paralympic Breakfast: O'Reilly and McCarthy narrowly miss out on medals

Ellen Keane and Róisín Ní Riain will race in the finals of the 200m individual medley and 100m breaststroke later this morning.

niamh-mccarthy Cork's Niamh McCarthy finished fifth in the women's F41 discus final. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

DAY EIGHT OF the Tokyo Paralympic Games brought a couple of near misses for Team Ireland, while in the pool, two of the Irish stars of these games so far booked places in another final.

Here’s everything that happened while you were sleeping:

The Irish Eye 

After his bronze medal in the men’s hand-cycling H5 time trial on Tuesday, Portlaoise’s Gary O’Reilly narrowly missed out on adding another medal in the road race on Wednesday morning.

O’Reilly finished the 79.2km race in an impressive fourth place in a time of 2:24:57, just 17 seconds outside the medals, with Mitch Valize of the Netherlands completing a golden double following his time trial win.

“I’m chuffed about the Games as a whole,” O’Reilly said afterwards. “I think fourth today was the best result I could have hoped for to be honest.

“With the medal yesterday, I’m still struggling to believe that happened, so I think all in all it’s job done. I couldn’t be happier.”

In the field, Rio bronze medallist Niamh McCarthy finished fifth in a blisteringly competitive final of the women’s F41 discus.

Cork’s McCarthy threw 28.94m with her final effort which wasn’t quite enough to take her past bronze medal winner Hayat El Garaa (29.30m) and on to the podium.

Defending champion Raoua Tlili of Tunisia won gold with a world record throw of 37.91m.

“I know other people were expecting better things,” McCarthy said afterwards, “but it’s been a very hard few years so just to make it here and to have a few good throws, I’m happy with that.

“My PB is over 30m and I’m way off my season best. If you just look at the result you’d be thinking if I did slightly nearer to it I could have got a medal but I don’t think I could have done more today. I did as best as I could.

“Had the Games gone ahead last year, I wouldn’t have been in them. I’ve been trying for years to get back to where I used to be so it’s been a difficult time. I’ve changed as a person.

“That’s not to say that those strengths aren’t in there but they’re not with me right now in the quantity that I’d like, so I’m happy to just have made it to this competition. It was touch-and-go so I’m really proud of myself.”

In the qualifiers for the Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2, Philip Eaglesham finished in 21st place with a score of 632.0, missing out on the top eight and a place in the final.

Serbia’s Dragan Ristic won the gold at the Asaka Shooting Range with a new Paralympic Record of 255.5.

Eaglesham will return to the range on Saturday for his favoured event, the Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH2.

But there was better news in the pool as both Ellen Keane and Róisín Ní Riain qualified for finals in the 200m individual medley and the 100m breaststroke respectively.

Gold medallist Keane swam 2:40.99 to finish second in her SM9 heat, and qualifies for the final at 10.40am this morning as the seventh-fastest overall. 

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Ní Riain qualified for yet another final as she set a new personal best of 1:20.81 in the SB13 heats.

Ní Riain is the fifth fastest qualifier for the final which takes place this morning at 11.09am.

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Barry McClements finished fourth in his heat of the men’s 200m Individual Medley in a time of 2:29.68, which was not enough for a place in the final.

Who else is making headlines? 

Jennette Jansen of the Netherlands added a fourth Paralympic title to her truly remarkable CV — the 10th medal of her Games career.

Jansen won the H4 road race on Wednesday morning, adding a hand-cycling gold to her two bronze medals in the sport. The 53-year-old also has six medals in track athletics, including three golds from the 1988 Seoul Games, and a silver in wheelchair basketball from Atlanta 1996. 

Picture of the day

raoua-tlili-celebrates-with-mohamed-farhat-chida Raoua Tlili celebrates with long jumper Mohamed Farhat Chida after winning gold and breaking the world record in the women's F41 discus. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

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Niall Kelly

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