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Bronze Medal Final for Clifford


Clifford to Race for Bronze in Pursuit at Rio

Eoghan Clifford has finished fourth in the Men’s C3 Individual Pursuit Qualifiers in a time of 3.38.863. The top two riders in the qualifiers, Nicholas (AUS) and Berenyi (USA) will compete for gold, with Clifford facing Sametz from Canada in the race for bronze. The Irish tandem of Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal finished 7th in the WB Tandem Kilo. Their time of 1.12.332 was a sea level personal best, netting them a position three places higher than the tenth place they finished in the World Championships in March. In the Men’s C2 Individual Pursuit Colin Lynch finished in 5th place in a time of 3.53.30.

After the qualifiers Clifford was relieved to be in with a chance to win a medal, while being disappointed with his
overall time; “It’s a bit of a shock I qualified – happy to be able to go into the medal ride off but I am disappointed I wanted to be in the gold silver final, there’s no question about that, so I mean obviously it’s good to be able to fight for a medal but I did want more today.”

Clifford will meet Canadian rider Michael Sametz later today, so will rest track side until then. The Galway based rider is also an experienced road racer which should stand by him with his recovery “Every year I’m on the track for probably 20 days a year, for my kind of engine it’s very difficult, I’m not an explosive rider but I think the road cycling does give you a big background in recovering from day to day and from event to event so hopefully that will stand to me.”

Recovery is important in this event with just hours separating the efforts; “I was supposed to have jelly babies, but I threw the jelly babies back at the physio cos I wasn’t’ happy with my ride, so I’ll go back and get them, and then really just warm down and get physio – I’m going to stay here at the track and lay down and rest.”

The WB Tandem Kilo was won by GB’s Thornhill and Scott with a new Paralympic Record in a time of 1.06.283. Holland and Australia took silver and bronze. The Kilo event is a 1000m race against the clock that favours a sprint rider. Dunlevy and McCrystal were relieved to get their campaign started, and their focus is on the endurance events later on in the Games. Speaking after their race the Irish duo said; “It was good with the crowds to get out doing a race on the track. Now we can focus on the 3km; we are ready to race. The Kilo is flat out; your legs are hanging from one lap to go.” The women’s tandem competes in the Pursuit event on Sunday, and that is a focus event for them; The pursuit is paced and endurance, it suits us better. If you go out too hard in it you pay for it later; our coach is on the side and he gives splits while we pace.”

Colin Lynch was also in action finishing in 5th place in the Men’s C3 Individual Pursuit. Lynch has been focusing on the road over the past few months, with his sights set on the Time Trial next Wednesday; “I hoped for a good race but I just wasn't quite on top of it but I've been training all year specifically for the TT so I gave up a little of my track skills in order to try and win that TT, so far, on that front everything looks really good and the course is perfect for me and I'll be hoping for a much better performance on Wednesday.” In the Men’s C2 Finals the Paralympic Record was broken by Guihua Liang (CHN) in a time of 3.42.916, Liang will compete against Tristen Chernove (CAN) for gold. Colombia and GB will compete for bronze.

Eoghan Clifford will compete in the Bronze Medal Final at 22.35 Irish time, with the race going out live on RTÉ 2.

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