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Eoghan Clifford earns gold at Rio Paralympic Games 2016

Eoghan Clifford earns gold at Rio Paralympic Games 2016. By ilovelimerick correspondent Cian Reinhardt.
Eoghan Clifford of Ireland during a training session in the Olympic Velodrome ahead of his Individual Pursuit C3 at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile.

Limerick native and cyclist Eoghan Clifford has earned a gold medal at the Rio Paralympic Games in the C3 time trial.

Currently residing in Galway but originally from Bruff, the NUIG lecturer took first place on Wednesday evening having won bronze in the C3 individual pursuit past Friday evening.

Eoghan Clifford is a reigning world champion – having previously won world championships in the event three times – and came into this year’s Paralympic Games hotly tipped to win gold in what is his first time competing in the Paralympic Games.


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Eoghan Clifford of Ireland after the Men's C3 3000m Individual Pursuit Final with members of his team, from left to right, Ireland Chef de Mission Denis Toomey, Cycling Team Manager Tommy McGowan, head coach Neill Delahaye, mechanic Gerry Beggs, mechanic Eoin Murphy, and physiotherapist Johnny Loughrey, at the Rio Olympic Velodrome during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Celebrating the bronze medal win, September 9. Ireland Chef de Mission Denis Toomey, Cycling Team Manager Tommy McGowan, head coach Neill Delahaye, Eoghan Clifford, mechanic Gerry Beggs, mechanic Eoin Murphy, and physiotherapist Johnny Loughrey, at the Rio Olympic Velodrome during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

The cyclist claimed the gold medal-winning the race by a margin of one minute and eight seconds with a time of 38:21.79 o beat Japan’s Masaki Fujita and Canada’s Michael Sametz in the 30km race.

The Eoghan Clifford gold medal was part of the Irish Paralympic team’s most successful day over the games so far, which saw Colin Lynch bring home a silver medal and women’s tandem duo, Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal earn gold medals.

In his early teens, the gold medalist was diagnosed with hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN), preventing him from engaging in contact sports. The Limerick athlete first took part in Paralympic sports in 2014 and has seen success over the past two years.

Eoghan Clifford had entered the event struggling with a knee injury due to HMSN, but winning by over one minute showed no signs of pain in claiming the gold.

“Today I was very determined and really disciplined during the ride,” said Clifford adding, “I kept my position really well. I must say I was a bit angry today, I was not happy with my result earlier in the week [Bronze in the Pursuit] and I really wanted to prove that I’m a better rider than that.”

You can find more information on the Irish Paralympic Team here.
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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.