49 athletes to represent Ireland in London

Updated: Tuesday, 04 Sep 2012 11:51 | Comments

Just some of the 49-member Irish Paralympics team
Just some of the 49-member Irish Paralympics team

A 49-strong Ireland team has been announced for the London 2012 Paralympic Games which commence on 29 August.

The team consisting of 49 athletes, representing 20 different counties will compete across ten sports at the London Games and represents the largest Irish Team since Atlanta 1996.

The 2012 Irish Paralympic team contains five reigning world champions in athletics and cycling and two defending Paralympic champions, athletes Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop.

For the first time ever Ireland will compete in shooting and rowing at a Paralympic Games.

Paralympics Ireland CEO & Chef de Mission for the Irish Team, Liam Harbison, said: "Today's team announcement is the culmination of a huge effort by everyone involved in Paralympic sport in Ireland.

"The preparation, coordination and management of the Irish Team is a huge task, which would not have been possible without the continuing support of the Irish Sports Council, Sport NI and our sponsors and partners.

"Their support has enabled us to prepare 49 athletes to compete and excel at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It’s time for us to make a return on the faith and investment placed in us by them all - we aim to deliver."

Commenting on the Irish Paralympic Team’s performance goals at London 2012, Paralympic performance director Nancy Chillingworth said: "The Irish Team aim to achieve great personal and collective success at the Games.

"The performances of the athletes in the qualification phase demonstrate that the performance targets for the Irish team of five medals and fifteen finalists set by the Beijing Review are realistic and achievable.

"We’ve planned meticulously to ensure the correct environment is in place around each athlete at the Games to facilitate their optimum performance," Chillingworth added.

The Irish Paralympic Team now head to Antrim for the first ever Paralympics Ireland training camp in Northern Ireland from 28 June - 1 July.

They will attend the final training camp in Limerick in August before heading to Portugal on 16 August for the ISC Pre-Games Holding Camp.

The team will then travel directly from Portugal to take their place in the Paralympic Village in London on 24 August in advance of the opening ceremony on 29 August.

Visit www.paralympics.ie for the full Irish team and profiles of all 49 athletes.

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