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Image / Living / Culture

When the Irish Paralympic team are competing and how to watch them


by Sarah Finnan
25th Aug 2021

@paralympics_ireland / Instagram

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The Paralympics kicked off over in Tokyo yesterday, with competition set to run until September 5.

Originally scheduled to take place this time last year, the Paralympics – much like the Olympics – was pushed out as a result of the pandemic. Postponed amid ongoing covid-19 concerns, there was a question mark over whether this year’s event would go ahead after all but despite mixed feelings from locals, organisers decided to proceed with the Games as planned.

Officially getting underway in the Japanese capital yesterday, things kicked off with a colourful opening ceremony at Tokyo’s Olympic Ceremony. One of the summer’s most hotly-anticipated sporting events, millions of spectators across the globe are expected to tune in over the competition’s almost two-week run.

So, what do you need to know? We’ve compiled a list of key dates and info for you, so all there’s left to do now is make sure the fridge is packed full of snacks to keep you going.

Where to watch

Knowing that there would be an influx of interest in both the Olympics and the Paralympics, RTÉ Sport confirmed they’d be running the channel’s “biggest and most comprehensive coverage of the Games to date”.

Spanning across all mediums including TV, radio and online, Irish audiences can choose from four overnight concurrent live channels on the RTÉ Player followed by all the action, reaction and analysis on live TV every morning. There will be live coverage between 10am and around 1pm each day with highlights to follow between 8pm and 9.30pm that evening.

More than doubling its coverage from Rio 2016, RTÉ Sport will also see presenters Daráine Mulvihill and Evanne Ní Chuilinn joined by a rotating cast of top panellists who will discuss all the action over in Tokyo.

RTÉ Sport online, with its dedicated Paralympics site and the RTÉ News app will have all the up-to-the-minute news from the Games with reaction from Irish athletes as it happens every day too.

Key dates

Team Ireland has 29 paralympic athletes over in Tokyo this year. All hoping to bring home a coveted medal, they’ll be competing across a range of different sports from swimming to para cycling, para power lifting and para archery.

Below are the key dates/times for each sport.

Para athletics

Saturday, August 28

11.05am 150m final

Sunday, August 28

2.25am 100m heats (Jason Smyth)
11.20am high jump final
11.50 100m final

Tuesday, August 31

2.24 100m heats (Orla Comerford)
11.50 100m final

Wednesday, September 1

1.30am F41 discus final

Friday, September 3

1.05am 1500m heat (Michael McKillop)

Saturday, September 4

1.35am F40 shot put final
11.10am 1500m heat (Michael McKillop)
10.30pm T54 marathon (Patrick Monahan)

Para cycling

Thursday, August 26

2am 1000m time trial final (Katie-George Dunlevy, Eve McCrystal)
7.15 1000m time trial final (Ronan Grimes)

Friday, August 27

2am 500 time trial final (Richael Timothy)
3.14am 4000m individual pursuit qualifying (Ronan Grimes)
7.15am 4000m individual pursuit final

Saturday, August 28

2am 3000m individual pursuit qualifying (Katie-George Dunlevy, Eve McCrystal)
3am 1000m time trial final
3.45am 3000m individual pursuit final

Tuesday, August 31

12midnight C1-C3 time trial (Richael Timothy)
12midnight H5 time trial (Gary O’Reilly)
5am C4-5 time trial (Ronan Grimes)
5.30am B time trial (Martin Gordon, Eamonn Byrne)
5.30am B time trial (Katie-George Dunlevy, Eve McCrystal)

Wednesday, September 1

1.30am H5 road race (Gary O’Reilly)

Friday, September 3

1.30am Cr-5 road race (Ronan Grimes)
1.35am C1-3 road race (Richael Timothy)

Friday, September 3

5am B road race (Katie-George Dunlevy, Eve McCrystal)
5.15am B road race (Martin Gordon, Eamonn Byrne)

Para archery 

Friday, August 27

1am Women’s individual compound open ranking round (Kerrie Leonard)

Para canoe

Thursday, September 2

2am Men’s KL3 heats (Pat O’Leary)
3.30am men’s KL3 heats

Friday, September 3

2.05am KL3 semi-final
3.25am KL3 final

Saturday, September 4

2.15am VL3 semi-final
3.45am VL3 final

Para table tennis

Friday, August 27

3am Class 3 men’s singles qualification (Colin Judge) –
12noon Class 3 men’s singles final

Saturday, August 28

2.20am Class 3 men’s singles quarter/semi-final

Para power lifting

Sunday, August 28

5am 73kg final

Para shooting

Sunday, August 28

5.15am R4 qualification/finals

Wednesday, September 1

3.30am R5 qualification/finals

Saturday, September 4

4.30am R9 qualification

Para equestrian

Thursday, August 26

9.50am Grade IV individual test (Rosemary Gaffney)
12.30pm Grade V individual test (Tasmin Addison)

Friday, August 27

8am Grade 1 individual test final (Michael Murphy)
11.20am Grade 3 individual test final (Kate Herr)

Saturday, August 28

9am Team Grade I-V qualifying

Sunday, August 28

10am Team I-V final

Monday, August 29

8am Grade IV individual freestyle test final
9.10am Grade V individual freestyle test final
10.30am Grade III individual freestyle test final
1pm Grade I individual freestyle test final

Swimming 

Thursday, August 26

2.45am 100m backstroke heat (Róisín Ní Ríain)
3am 100 breaststroke heat (Ellen Keane)
11.14 am 100m backstroke final
11.40am 100 breaststroke final

Friday, August 27

2.55am 400m freestyle heats (Róisín Ní Ríain)
11.30am 400m freestyle final

Saturday, August 28 

1.05am 100m breaststroke heats (Nicole Turner)
9.05am 100m breaststroke final

Sunday, August 29

2.20am 50m freestyle heats (Róisín Ní Ríain)
10.17 50m freestyle final

Monday, August 30

1.16am 100m backstroke heats (Barry McClements)
1.50am 50m butterfly heats (Nicole Turner)
9.05am 100m backstroke final
9.50 50m butterfly final

Wednesday, September 1

2.10am 200m medley heats (Barry McClements)
2.20am 200m medley heats (Ellen Keane)
2.40am 100m breaststroke heats (Róisín Ní Ríain)
10.30am 200m medley final
10.40am 200m medley final
11.09am 100m breaststroke final

Thursday, September 2

1am 400m freestyle heats (Patrick Flanagan)
1.30am 100m butterfly heats (Barry McClements)

Thursday, September 2

9.30am 100m butterfly final

Friday, September 3

1.15am 100m backstroke heats (Patrick Flanagan)

*All Irish times.

Closing ceremony 

Running for just under two weeks, the closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, September 5 at 8pm (12-noon Irish time).

You can keep up to date with all goings-on and find out more about each of the individual athletes/the sports they’re competing in by checking out their athlete profiles here.

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