Irish Paralympic Athlete and Hazelwood College Leaving Certificate student Noelle Lenihan (right) is pictured with Mr Kevin Grant, Hazelwood College Athletics Coach, after competing at the Paris 2017 World Para Athletics Grand Prix, where she claimed gold in three events: the shot putt, the discus and the javelin. After conquering Paris, Noelle returned to conquer the Leaving Certificate and the management and staff of Hazelwood College wish Noelle and all of the Class of 2017 the best in their Leaving Certificate examinations and results, certain that all their efforts will be rewarded.
In case you missed all the action in the Discuss Final here are some of the highlights from Noelle’s great day in Rio.
Noelle was drawn to throw second in the opening round and set a strong marker for the rest of the field setting a new Paralympic record of 31.71m. But her main challenger to the title Mi Na had her own marker to set, breaking the world record with her opening throw.
The atmosphere in the stadium built over the four following rounds as the largest crowd to date in the Paralympics cheered on Brazilian Shirlene Coelho who was in second place between Noelle and Mi Na. The final round of throws was a nail biting affair as Noelle was under pressure to stay ahead of the Canadian Renne Danielle Foessel who was throwing very consistently and had beaten/run very close to Noelle in every round bar the crucial opening round. If she beat Noelle’s record throw of 31.71m then Noelle would have to throw better again to keep her hands on the Bronze. Here is the video from that crucial final set of throws.
Noelle’s level of maturity on the field was only surpassed by her maturity in the media centre afterwards. Not many 16 year olds would perform as well as Noelle did in front of the worlds media.
Unfortunately the live TV coverage ended before the medal ceremony took place. Fortunately though the Paralympics Committee have an excellent Youtube Channel. Here is the medal ceremony that we all missed:
Hugh congratulations to Noelle Lenihan on her excellent bronze medal performance in tonight’s Paralympic Discus Final.
Her best attempt was her opening throw which reached a mark of 31.71 metres, enough for third place. That in itself was a Paralympic record at that point of the competition. Noelle then saw China’s Mi Na break the world record that the Noelle had set in June 2016 in Lausanne. Na won with a record throw of 37.60 metres, which like Noelle’s best throw, was also her first of the night. Silver went to Shirlene Coelho of Brazil.
Our best wishes and congratulations to Noelle and all her family on their success.
“Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack.”
Hazelwood College student Noelle Lenihan will tonight grace the world stage at the Opening Ceremony of the IPC Paralympics in Rio, Brazil. At 17 years old, Hazelwood College’s Noelle Lenihan is one of Ireland’s youngest athletes and has been named by the International Paralymic Committee as ‘One to Watch’. Noelle won silver at the 2015 World Championships and gold in this year’s European Championships. Having already twice broken the world record in the F38 Discuss, Noelle is first in the world rankings and one of our best medal prospects.
Everyone at Hazelwood College wishes her the best in this years Paralympics and (no pressure!) we can’t wait to see her win the medal on the 17th of September in the Dicuss (F38)
Here is Noelle’s Profile from the International Paralymics website:
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up para-athletics in Charleville, Ireland.
Why this sport?
Her father trained as an athletics coach so that he could train her.
Club / Team
North Cork Athletics Club: Ireland
Name of coach
Dave Sweeney [national]; Jim Lenihan [father]
Senior International Debut
Sporting philosophy / motto
“Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack.” (Instagram profile, 09 Sep 2015)
Awards and honours
She received the Achievement Award at the 2015 Munster Star Awards in Ireland. (corkathletics.org, 2016)
She was named the Sportswoman of the Month for October 2015 by Cork City Sports in Ireland. (irishtimes.com, 12 Nov 2015)
Her sisters Megan and Eimear have both competed in athletics at national level. (hazelc.ie, 20 May 2014)
To win a medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (the42.ie, 26 Mar 2016)
Hazelwood College student and member of the Ireland National Paralympics team Noelle Lenihan, set a new world record on her way to winning gold at this years IPC European Championships taking place currently in Grosseto, Italy.
Here is Noelle setting a new world record with her throw in the championships.
Here’s how NewsTalk 103-106FM reported on her success:
Cork’s Noelle Lenihan has added to Ireland’s medal collection at the IPC Athletics European Championships on Sunday evening, when she secured a gold medal and set a new World Record in the F38 Discus final.
Noelle set the new World Record on her very first attempt, when she threw a whopping 32.14m – a throw that put her straight to the top of the table and eventually won her the gold medal.
Speaking about the fantastic performance, National Throws Coach Dave Sweeney said: “She did great, and we’re really happy. She was very controlled, and to be honest, she has been throwing further than that the last few days in training so she’s a little bit disappointed that she didn’t throw further today! There was a tricky wind, which blew a lot of the discs down so it was a fantastic for her to throw so well in those conditions.
“This is a really big step in her career – to break a World Record and win a European Championships in one go and to then be a little bit unhappy with the performance is the sign of a good mindset and a sign of more exciting things to come in Rio!
“She will come away from today having learned a lot, she had very good competition there so she was pushed to the very end and we’re delighted for her.”
This was Ireland’s second medal of the Championships, following on from Deirdre Mongan’s bronze medal on Day One on Saturday in the F53/54 Shot Put final.