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Carrigaline’s Niamh McCarthy Wins Southside Accolade

(With Media Partners The Carrigdhoun Newspaper)

The latest 2019 winner of the very successful Southside & District Sports Awards Scheme is Ms. Niamh McCarthy from Carrigaline who recently won a Bronze Medal at the Discus Event in the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. Niamh competes in the F41 classification.

2019 Southside and District winners include Ian McLoughlin of Ballincollig Basketball Club (President’s Cup Title winners) in January, the UCC Soccer, Hurling and Gaelic Football Teams were honoured for their Hat Trick wins in the Sigerson, Fitzgibbon and Collingwood Cups, Highfield Rugby Club received the March Southside & District Sports Award in recognition of their promotion to Division 1, CIT Sailing Club received the April Award for their achievements on the high seas. Cork and Kinsale Ladies Gaelic Football Star Orla Finn received the May Award, Ken Bruton, Manager of Avondale United Senior team, received the June award. Mark Cronin of Nemo Rangers and Cork received the July Southside and District Sports Award for his performance with Cork and Courcey Rovers player Vincent Hurley was presented with the August trophy for his part in his club’s South East Championship Title win. In September the scheme honoured UCC and Ireland rower Ronan Byrne and last month Nemo’s Luke Connolly received the October Trophy.

The Awards are sponsored by the Cork International Hotel (Main Sponsors) in association with Awards Sponsor Gerald McCarthy. The awards scheme is now in its eleventh year and going from strength to strength and this month sees the commencement of a new media partnership with The Carrigdhoun Newspaper.

Paralympics and Para Athletics Serial Medallist Discus Thrower Niamh McCarthy, first emerged onto the Paralympic athletics scene in 2013 and has been going from strength to strength ever since as she has made her mark on the sport.

The IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha in 2015 was her first major championships, where she secured a bronze medal to round off a superb debut. Niamh continued her good run of form at the 2016 Para-Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy where she set a new European Record on her way to claiming a silver medal in the F40/41 Discus final.

The 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio was Niamh’s first Paralympic Games. Day 8 saw Niamh secure a fantastic silver medal in a hugely competitive F41 Discus final. Despite being ranked 5th, McCarthy dug deep and produced a superb 5th round throw of 26.67m which proved to be her best of the day and pushed her into second position behind the eventual winner and world record holder, Tunisian Raoua Tlili.  It was an amazing achievement for Niamh to win a silver medal less than 4 years after taking up the sport!

After a hard 4 years of training she continued to excel and claimed a Silver medal at the London 2017 Para Athletics World Championships. In Berlin in 2018 she earned her first Gold medal and was crowned European Champion having topped the European Rankings list for 4 years running.

Just last month Leevale Athletics Club member Niamh won a Bronze Medal in the F41 Discus Event in the Para Athletics World Championships in Dubai. 2019 proved to be a tough year for McCarthy, having lost the National Throws coach Dave Sweeney in March. The open position was filled 5 months later, just 3 weeks before the World Championships. She also had to say goodbye to her long term coach John McCarthy in August  and has since been training with Malcolm Fenton at regular intervals in the UK.

After a shaky start to her event which put her in 7th place and over 4 metres from the medal zone, Niamh was able to pull out a throw of 29.70m in the 4th round which put her in 3rd place, with all of her competitors still with 3 throws left to finish. While the wait was a tense one, no one was able to push her off that spot and she was presented with the Bronze medal. Her long term rival Raoua Tlili remained on form and was crowned World Champion once again. Youssra Karim, multi-medallist in the F41 shot put but newcomer to Discus, threw a 5m personal best to put her in 2nd place where she went on to claim her first medal in the event. Niamh’s recent exploits leaves her with her 6th consecutive international medal. Daredevil Niamh enjoys sky diving in her spare time.

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