MOUNTMELLICK shot-putter Ailish Dunne has been selected for the Irish Paralympic team which will travel to London
It is the first time Ailish has been selected for the Paralympics and she will join 49 athletes across ten sports which makes this the largest Irish team since the Atlanta Olympics in 1996
Her selection is a fitting reward for her efforts over the past few years since she took up the sport.. Ailish lost her sight to vasculitis in 2003 and took up athletics in 2009.
Speaking this week to the Leinster Express, the Mountmellick athlete expressed her delight at the selection.
“I was delighted to be selected. I was over at the test events but it will be very different for the event itself. It will be daunting but it will be very exciting. This is what I’ve been working for.”
The Irish team will arrive in London on August 23 with the games getting underway on August 29 but as Ailish explained, the team will be together before then.
“There will still be competitions up to the start of the games and before we go to London there will be a holding camp in Portugal. I train up to six days a week depending on competitions. I throw in the Tullamore Harriers and do the strength and conditioning work in the Leisure Centre in Portlaoise.”
Ailish expects the level of competition to be tougher at the Paralympic Games but she is focused on doing her very best on the day.
“I’d love to get a personal best and I want to do really well. The competition is tougher but I will have the chance to find out where I stand in the world.”
The fact that the Paralympics are just across the water in London means Ailish will have plenty of support.
“The tickets just arrived the other day. There’s a good few coming over which will be great and we will have the chance to meet family and friends outside the village.”
The final of the Women’s F11 shot-putt takes place on Tuesday, September 4 at 7.20pm in the Olympic Stadium in London.