Health service staff set new Irish records at Beijing Paralympics


Cyclist and HSE physiotherapist Catherine Walsh and her pilot Johanna Hickey set a new Irish record while finishing seventh in the final of the 1km time-trial in the Paralympic Games in Beijing at the weekend. Catherine’s very experienced tandem partner, Johanna Hickey, is a student nurse in Tallaght Hospital.

Cyclist Michael Delaney, who works in the ICT department in Dr Steevens’ Hospital, and his sighted pilot, David Peelo, finished thirteenth in their individual pursuit event.    Michael and David returned to the track on Monday in the 1km Time Trial (B&VI 1 - 3 Class). The duo recorded a time of 1.08.593, also a new Irish Record, taking one second off their previous best.

Both Catherine and Michael are partially-sighted. The 2008 Paralympic Games got underway in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium on Saturday, September 6.

Michael is also taking part in the tandem sprint and road race while Catherine is also competing in the individual pursuit event, the individual time trail and the road race.   

Irish competitor Enda Smyth also set a new Irish record while finishing seventh in the final of the 1km time-trial.  

Speaking at the weekend after the opening day of the competition Irish cycling manager Denis Toomey said he was delighted with the results. ‘‘Three Irish records is a fantastic achievement and we are on schedule with what we planned.’’

Speaking before she travelled to the Games Lusk based physiotherapist Catherine Walsh had said: ‘‘I’m very excited, all of the hard work is done now and it will be a real adventure. We’re totally focusing on breaking Irish records and trying to do personal bests.’’

The cycling team are competing in both Track and Road disciplines in Beijing. RTE are covering the Irish team’s participation at the Games and are broadcasting six programmes from China between the opening ceremony on September 6th and the closing ceremony on Wednesday September 17th.

Last updated on: 11 / 09 / 2008