Medal No 15 for Ireland as O'Neill takes silver

Updated: Saturday, 08 Sep 2012 14:02

Catherine O'Neill has won silver for Ireland in the Women's Discus Throw - F51/52/53 in London.

With two Paralympic Games already under her belt, and one of Ireland’s most experienced field event athletes, O’Neill now has a first medal to her name, taking the silver with a season’s best throw of 5.66m. Team Ireland have now won 15 medals at this year’s Games.

The New Ross athlete said: “My plan was to relax and throw a solid distance early to put pressure on the others.

“I knew they had been going all week. It was baking out there and the noise in the stadium is unbearable, particularly when a British athlete was in action. I just needed to stay relaxed.”

Having competed in both the Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Paralympics, O’Neill’s previous best finish was fourth in Australia.

O’Neill added: “I have been waiting for this for a long time. This is my third Paralympics and you cannot understand how much this means to me. I want to thank those who have supported me and stood by me.”

Eventual winner Josie Pearson from Britain threw a world record 6.58m and the loss of her world record was the only low point for an otherwise jubilant O’Neill, but she promised to fight hard to regain her record.

“I lost my world record today and don’t quite know how to think about that. I will enjoy the moment and look to chase that record back next year,” she explained.