A six-strong Ireland team is on a dual mission this week at the 2021 World Para Athletics European Championships in Poland with medals and some fine-tuning for the Tokyo Paralympic Games on the radar.

Michael McKillop, Greta Streimikyte, Mary Fitzgerald, Jordan Lee, David Leavy and Niamh McCarthy will represent Ireland in Bydgoszcz, Poland from 1-5 June.

With preparations and international competition taking a back seat due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Championships offers athletes the perfect opportunity to test themselves in real competition ahead of the Paralympics.

All eyes will be on Michael McKillop in the T38 1500m as he builds towards defending the gold medal he won at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

McKillop comes into the meeting in good form, having set down strong markers in the 800m and 1,500m at the recent Belfast Irish Milers Meet but will face some stiff competition in the 1,500m event in the form of French duo Renaud Clerc and Redouane Hennouni-Bouzidi.

Leavy lines up alongside McKillop in the same race and will be looking to improve on his seventh place finish at the last European Chamionships in Berlin.

Going in the women's 1,500m is Streimikyte who ran a personal best in Belfast and will get an idea of just where she is in her preparations when she comes up against Russian favourite Elena Pautova.

Fitzgerald completes in the shot-putt and expectation as high for her after setting a new personal best in Belfast.

Meanwhile high-jumper Lee is back on track for the first time this outdoor season.

The Killarney man has been training in the UK with a technical coach and will be eager to improve on the bronze medal he took from the last European Championships.

Head of Para Athletics, James Nola is expecting some strong performances this week and said: "It is great to have an opportunity to compete again on the international stage. It has been a difficult year; however, the athletes have shown their dedication and commitment throughout. They are ready, in very good shape and will represent their country with pride in Poland."