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Team Ireland’s leading Paralympic canoer was back in action on the morning of Day Ten of Tokyo 2020 in his first semifinal
Pat O’Leary – Men’s 200m KL3 semifinal
This is Pat O’Leary’s third race at the Paralympic Games. His journey began yesterday as he competed well in two opening heats, the Va’a and the Kayak.
He finished in fifth place in his heat for this event the last day but knows he will need to kick it up a notch to qualify for the final. The 48-year-old will want to improve on his best Paralympic result after finishing in sixth place overall in Rio de Janeiro 2016.
Pat O’Leary in action during the KL3 200m Final at Lagoa Stadium during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games 🇧🇷
Patrick was the first Irish canoeist to compete at a Paralympic Games 🇮🇪
#TeamIreland #Paralympics pic.twitter.com/q7bjoR2pX5
— Paralympics Ireland (@ParalympicsIRE) October 15, 2020
He started this short, fast race in lane three with five other racers. The top three racers would qualify for the A final while the next three would to put in the B final.
The race got off to a hectic start with each paddle forcing the water back and the kayaks glided over the water. O’Leary maintained a strong speed that kept him in touching distance with the fastest racers.
Unfortunately, the Cork man’s impressive performance was not enough to qualify for the A final only half a second behind Germany’s Tom Kierey.
He finished in fourth place with a time of 42.203 and would go into the B final.
Pat O'Leary #TheNextLevel | #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/ixlK2EPugl
— Paralympics Ireland (@ParalympicsIRE) September 1, 2021
There was very little turnaround between the semifinals and finals. Only an hour later, O’Leary lined out in lane four as one of the fastest competitors in the race.
He finished this race in a time of 42.416 seconds and this meant that he finished in an overall position of ninth for the kayak event.
It was a good day for O’Leary but he will hope to go one step further as he goes into the Va’a semifinals tomorrow morning.