Wexford’s Catherine Wayland has secured the Irish team’s first podium finish of the IPC World Athletics Championships on the opening day of competition today in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Wayland who competed in the F51 Club Throw final at 9.05am (New Zealand local time) this morning threw 13.56m to secure the silver medal. Wayland set the pace in the first round with an early throw of 13.19m which left her is second place overall going into the second round. The New Ross native, who is a member of IWA sport, improved on her opening throw with a distance of 13.56m and that was good enough to secure second place.
“I am delighted with my performance as it has been 13 years since my last major championship medal. I also have the discus competition to come and am refocusing now on delivering another top performance. I would like to thank my coach for all his help and support over the years. I dedicate this medal to my son Calum and Coach Pat Furlong,” said Wayland.
Irish Team Manager James Nolan, commented, “Catherine worked very hard over the difficult winter period under the guidance of coach Pat Furlong and her dedication paid off today, with her elite performance in the Club throw. She can now carry this confidence into her discus competition on Friday. It’s also a super boost for the team and a dream start to these Paralympic Athletics World Championships.”
Ray O’Dwyer who was competing in his first major championships came 12th in the F34 Shot Putt final with a distance of 7.65m. This was O’Dwyer’s second best performance ever in the shot and a solid opening performance from the Kilkenny man who will now focus on Thursday’s Javelin final.
O’Dwyer reflected on his first time competing at the World Championships, “It was great experience for me to be out there today mixing it with those guys as I am only 20 years old. My power and technique is improving all the time and I plan to deliver World Class performances in the coming years as I mature into a top Paralympic thrower.”
“This is Ray’s first major championships and is an important learning curve in his career. His commitment to training and performance is to be admired; he leaves no stone unturned to improve his performance. The shot putt today is Ray’s second event as he specializes in Javelin. He has done very well to qualify for these major games at the age of 20 and is a huge prospect for the future,” commented Team Manager James Nolan.
Ireland’s Rosemary Tallon will compete in the F52 Shot Putt final tomorrow, Sunday 23rd January.