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Double Paralympic medallist Orla Barry says she's going out on top

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

03:26 13 Jan 2020

Orla Barry has announced her retirement from Paralympic sport at the age of 30. 

The Cork discus thrower was twice a Paralympic Games medallist, and in total won 9 medals at major championships during a glittering 13-year career.

Barry says she feels "that now is the right time to step away from the sport while I am still at the top and knowing that I would struggle to give the commitment and single-minded focus to reach the standards that I have always set for myself and that the sport deserves.”

A veteran of three Paralympic Games, Barry placed 5th in Beijing in 2008 as an 18-year old.

Four years later, a European Championship gold medal was followed by a bronze at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Barry set a new world record in the discipline in 2013, winning her first World Championship medal - a silver - that year too.

Silver medals would follow at the 2014 European Championships in Swansea, and at the 2015 World Para Athletics Championships in Doha.

It was 2016 that would prove Barry's most successful, with silver at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The same year she claimed World Championship gold in Italy.

Upon announcing her retirement, Barry said, "I have had a wonderful career in Paralympic Sport. I achieved everything that I set out to achieve when I first started competing as a 14 year old girl.

"I have some amazing memories that I will cherish forever and I have worked with brilliant coaches, competed alongside some incredible athletes and made some lifelong friends."

Barry says she's starting "a new period" in her life, which includes planning her wedding and building a new house.

Paralympics Ireland President John Fulham hailed Barry as "a wonderful ambassador" for her sport, adding, "She has embodied what it is to be a high performance Para Athlete throughout her brilliant career and I would like to thank her for the dedication that she has shown to her sport.

"I would like to wish Orla all the very best in the future and I hope that, in the future, she will be able to pass on some of her knowledge to the next generation of Irish Para Athletes that she has inspired."

Barry's final career medal at a major championships came with gold at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin in 2018.

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Cork Discus London 2012 Orla Barry Para Athletics Paralympic Games Rio 2016

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