Belfast Telegraph

Double gold for local Para athletes Jack Agnew and Eve Walsh-Dann in European games

 

By Brian Hill

Belfast's Jack Agnew and North Down's Eve Walsh-Dann maintained Northern Ireland's para athletics success tradition with four gold medals in the European Junior Para Athletics Championships in Switzerland.

Agnew (17) was entered in an amazing five events, representing the 14-strong GB team in the T54 category for wheelchair athletes. The Belfast Met student began his campaign with a bronze medal in the 200m with a time of 27.53 seconds, plus a silver in the 400m with 52.68 seconds.

However, the best was to come with victory in the 1,500m plus a gold in the 800m in one minute, 46.37 seconds. The 800m accolade was Agnew's first ever gold and represented the culmination of all his hard work under the guidance of coach Heather Ardiss and the NI Youth Academy.

Agnew, who is supported by the Mary Peters Trust, is now a contender for selection for next year's Commonwealth Games, and he is currently ranked eighth in the 1,500m.

In the T36 category for athletes with mild cerebral palsy, Walsh-Dann set two personal bests to take gold in both sprint events.

The Under-18 category North Down student, who is coached by former sprint star Roger Sexton, secured victory in the 200m in 32.04 seconds followed by a gold medal in the 100m in 15.09 seconds.

Athletics NI coach Tom Reynolds said the duo's performances were fantastic results for the province's young athletes and proved there is a new generation of competitors following in the footsteps of Olympic and World Para champions Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop.

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