ONE of Cork's rising sports stars was in record-breaking form at the World Championships in London.
Charleville's Noelle Lenihan broke the F38 Discus championship record twice on her way to silver at the 2017 Para Athletics World Championships at the Queen Victoria Olympic Park.
Having broken the record with a throw of 31.97m with her fourth attempt in the competition which also includes F37 athletes, Lenihan saved the best for last with a massive throw of 32.12m – just .02m shy of her own world record.
China’s Mi Na (35.08m), who is classified as F37, claimed the gold while Canada’s Renee Danielle Foessel (30.88m) took the bronze.
Lenihan, who only recently completed her Leaving Certificate, completes an Irish hat-trick of silver medals in discus events following excellent performances by fellow Corkonians Orla Barry and Niamh McCarthy at the weekend. This is Ireland’s sixth medal of the championships.
Lenihan was delighted with the performance: “I absolutely loved it out there. I have one world championships in the bag so to be out there after a tough year with a lot of study was great. I did hope to beat the Chinese girl (Mi Na), you know anything is possible, but you’ve got to look at yourself and better yourself.
She continued: “I was only 2cm off the world record so that’s something to aim for in the future. It gives me a target. To me it doesn’t matter who I’m against. I’m very chilled but I’m very competitive too. I love the sport and I love throwing. I have that drive, especially in para sport, it’s something that comes to me very easily.
Lenihan also acknowledged the role her fellow Irish athletes have played in here career: “Jason (Smyth) and Michael (McKillop) are absolute role models for the rest of the team. They’ve done so much for sport and para sport.”
Throws coach Dave Sweeney added: “Noelle did a great job tonight. She started steadily which was the plan - just to get a solid legal throw. She went a little flat mid competition but really got it together at the end with a throw just 2cm off her own world record. I'm delighted for her and all her family who were here to support her.”