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Irish Paralympic Sailing Trio Lying Ninth

1st September 2012
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Irish Paralympic Sailing Trio Lying Ninth

#paralympic – Irish paralympic sailing trio John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello, placed 11th and 7th in the three-person Sonar keelboat class in the first races of the Paralympic games in Weymouth today. They finish Day 1 in 9th overall with a further nine races left to sail.

Taking place from 1 September to 6 September, three gold medals will be up for grabs by the 80 competitors: in the Single-Person Keelboat, Two-Person Keelboat and Three-Person Keelboat. Athletes will compete to master the ever-changing conditions on the open waters of Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour during the Paralympic Sailing competition.

Ireland is only conrtesting the three person keelboat medal.

The athletes are classified based on their ability to perform the sport using a point system: the higher the points, the greater the ability.

A moderate south westerly breeze saw the team get off to a solid start in Race 1. They began in the middle of the fleet but slipped back to 13th only to climb back up the fleet to 10th but ultimately finishing in 11th. Race 2 saw team back in 13th rounding the first mark but they fought hard challenging their opponents to claim six places to finish in 7th.

John Twomey commented "It was very shifty conditions especially in Race 1. It's early days and we're hoping to improve on our performance today".

The 2012 Paralympics are John Twomey's 10th Paralympics, a record for any Irish person competing at either the Olympics or Paralympics. Having competed initially in the discus where he won bronze in 1984 and gold at Seoul 1988, John progressed to table tennis and finally to sailing which has been his sport of choice since 1996. Anthony Hegarty has been involved in sailing since 2005 but this is his first time competing at the Games. This is also Ian Costello's Paralympic debut.

Published in Olympics 2012
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