Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Paralympics: Northern Ireland's medal hopes

Richard and Peter Chambers took silver at the London Olympics, while Alan Campbell, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan secured bronze.



Expect Northern Ireland’s Paralympians to do even better in London.

Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop are Northern Ireland’s chief medal hopes at the Paralympics.

Smyth only just missed out on a place at the London Olympics and is hopeful of achieving the qualifying standard for Rio 2016.

It will be a major surprise if he doesn’t do the 100m and 200m sprint double at the Olympic Stadium.

Smyth’s good friend McKillop is also expected to double up by securing the 800m and 1500m titles.

Any other Northern Ireland medals will be a bonus.

The teenage trio of athlete Sally Brown and swimmers Bethany Firth and Laurence McGivern are all capable of going close in the chase for medals although all three should be peaking for the Rio Games in 2016.

The experience possessed by archer Sharon Vennard, cyclist James Brown and equestrian competitor Eilish Byrne give them a realistic chance of medal glory.

Ladbrokes offer 5/4 that Team Ireland will achieve a medal haul of 10 or more podium finishes.

Expect at least four podiums by Northern Ireland competitors.

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