08/09/2021

NI Athletes Win Six Medals At Tokyo Paralympic Games

Northern Irish athletes have brought home a total six medals from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, which has ended after 12 days of competition.

Bethany Firth won two gold and two silver medals for her success in swimming – the ninth medal of her career; and Jason Smyth a gold medal for his success in the 100 metres race – the sixth medal of his career. James MacSorley was also part of the wheelchair basketball team that took bronze – his first Paralympic medal.

For others, the games are the realisation of a dream, having achieved the status of Paralympian and competed in one of the greatest competitions in the world.

Congratulating the athletes, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, said: "We will look back at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games with great pride at the remarkable achievements of our local Paralympians. To watch all seven of our athletes compete, in what has been one of the memorable Games in the most unique of circumstances, has been inspiring and I congratulate all of them on their success.

"To take on the rest of the world in their chosen sport is no mean feat and I congratulate Bethany Firth, Jason Smyth and James MacSorley for their medal wins. I am delighted that once again they have been recognised as the best in the world in that sport.

"It is also important that I recognise those who provided support to the athletes in the run up to and during the games. Credit must go to all the coaches, clubs, administrators, medical personnel and support staff who are critical to ensuring that those competing were as prepared as they could have been. Also, let's not forget all the friends and families cheering their loved ones on back home and who offer invaluable support.

"We have been extremely proud to support each and every one of our Paralympians and to share in the highs and lows of the competitions. They will have inspired budding athletes to aim for the best or simply have triggered an interest in many to try out a new sport."


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