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Team Ireland had one sole athlete in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium this morning for the women’s 100m race in athletics
Orla Comerford – Women’s T13 100m race (Heats)
Comerford had to psyche herself up for a tough morning race starting at 10:45 in Tokyo.
This is her first and only event at this year’s Games, the 23-year-old from Howth made her debut at the Paralympics five years ago in Rio de Janeiro. She wanted to show her real quality today after being disappointed with her performance in 2016.
She should be happy to have made it this far after undergoing surgery on her left ankle in 2019, resulting in her barely competing over a three-year period.
Orla Comerford#TheNextLevel | #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/lVguXQhKnv
— Paralympics Ireland (@ParalympicsIRE) August 30, 2021
This morning she ran in the third and final heat with the Howth woman running in lane six. This was a good chance for Comerford as she came into this race with the third-fastest personal best of her opponents.
The two fastest athletes from each heat would be guaranteed places in the final.
After a false start that only resulted in talking to the Ugandan athlete, the race got underway. Comerford started strong but by the halfway mark, the top three athletes started to break away.
She held onto a fourth-place position in a time of 12.87, she would have needed to cut down 0.67 seconds to reach the qualifying places.
Azerbaijan’s Elena Chebanu qualified in the first place and was narrowly followed by Spain’s Adriaratou Iglesias Forneiro in second.
This marks the end of another Paralympic journey for Orla Comerford but she can keep her head held high as it was remarkable how she managed to reach these Games.
Orla Comerford has not progressed beyond the heats of the T13 100m. She ran a time of 12.87 finishing 4th in heat 3. Orla has struggled with injury since making her Paralympic debut in Rio and it was a achievement in itself to qualify for Tokyo pic.twitter.com/S8y75awDXe
— Darren Frehill (@Darrenfrehill) August 31, 2021