Three’s a charm for Paralympics

Donnacha and Dave at the National paratriathlon champions awards ceremony. Photos by Dave Tilly.

By Kathrin Kobus

The season has begun for para-athlete Donnacha McCarthy with the first duathlon competition in Naas this January. A successful 2018 saw him and his guide D4 local man Dave Tilly compete and win medals and precious points for the world ranking. They are needed to get the merits to qualify for the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.

2018 was also the year when the duo became a trio, with Corkman Stephen Teeling-Lynch from STL Sports coaching joining them. He will occasionally swap places with Dave Tilly as the guide for Donnacha.

The trio trains together with the different disciplines in Irishtown Stadium, Markievicz pool or the pool at Sportsco to get the rhythm right, to get in tune. For cycling, the main thing is “to find a rather plain and not too hilly course, because otherwise, it is very tricky for vision-impaired or blind athletes“ according to Dave Tilly.

Stephen will be at hand now whenever Dave is not available, like the upcoming trip to Tasmania at the beginning of March. From freezing Ireland into the heat of the end of summer down under for round one of this year’s World Cup Series. Once back in Ireland it will be Dave who gets on a stationary tandem bike with Donnacha for two fundraiser cycles for their sporting plans.

On March 16th you can spot the pair outside Tesco in Sandymount. The following Saturday 23rd they will pull up again with their tandem at the Merrion Centre. There won’t be much time of trio training in Dublin because Donnacha and Dave will head off for Yokohama to conclude a busy month of March.