Three table tennis places and four equestrian spots have been secured at the 2012 Paralympic Games taking place in London this summer.
Eimear Breathnach, Rena McCarron Rooney and Philip Quinlan booked their places for London after competing in qualification tournaments around the world throughout 2011 and securing the all important ranking points along the way.
This will be Breathnach’s second Paralympic Games having competed in Beijing four years ago. Both McCarron Rooney and Quinlan will be making their Games debuts.
Both Breathnach and McCarron Rooney will compete in the Women’s Individual TT1-2 Class in London’s ExCel Centre and will compete as a Team in the Women’s TT1-3 Team event. Quinlan will compete in the Men’s Individual TT2 event.
For the very first time, an Irish Team has qualified in equestrian for a Paralympic Games and will be made up of four riders. The team’s qualifying score of 419 pts from the Hartpury International event last summer was sufficient to rank Ireland 8th on the World rankings and secure one of the 12 places available.
Ireland has been represented by individual riders at every Paralympic Games since equestrian was introduced to the Paralympic Games at Atlanta in 1996. Currently eight riders are eligible to fill the four spots on the plane to London. They include:
Helen Kearney (Mister Cool), James Dwyer (Orlando), Eilish Byrne (Youri), Breda Bernie (Ukina Van Beekdal), Geraldine Savage (Blues Tip Top Too), Angela Lyons (Fahrenheit), Rosemary Gaffney (Aldham Mill Dubloon) and Kate Kerr Horan (Terence Hill)
To date twenty-two Irish athletes have secured qualification places for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Paralympics Ireland hopes to send a team of 40 athletes to the Games that get under way on the 29th August 2012.
Athlete places todate confirmed as follows:
3 Table Tennis
Liam Harbison, CEO of Paralympics Ireland said: “We are delighted for the athletes that have secured qualification places at the Games to date. It is very exciting that we will have our first ever equestrian team competing at a Games in London this year. We are on course to reach our target of 40 athletes with further places expected in the sports of athletics, cycling, shooting and swimming. The Irish Team will be announced on June 28th.”