Lisbon European Championships

Lisbon  Elite 1

More than 50 Age Groupers, Paratriathletes, Juniors and Elites from Ireland raced at the ETU European Championships in Lisbon over the weekend.

Warm conditions, a city course and big crowds made the many races a true festival of triathlon.

Lisbon AG Group 2

Medals

The team brought home Ireland's first ever female paratriathlon medal and three Age Group medals with Finbar McGrady winning silver in the 40-44 AG Sprint event, June McMinn claiming bronze in the 55-59 AG Sprint and Joan Griffin taking silver in the 60-64 AG Sprint. Darren Dunne also put in a very promising performance to come 16th in the men's junior race.

Lisbon Para Group Shot

First Irish Paratriathlon Medal

The ever improving paratriathlon squad had considerable reason to celebrate with Fiona McCormack winning a bronze medal in the PT1 event - making her Ireland's first ever female to claim a medal at an international paratriathlon race.

Elsewhere, Catherine Walsh finished 5th in the PT5, Tojo Lazzari and Garrett Turbett came 5th and 7th respectively in the men's PT3; while Aidan McGlynn came 7th in the highly competitive men's PT4 category.

McGlynn and Walsh were both in Lisbon on the hunt for Rio Paralympic qualifying points and Triathlon Ireland's paratriathlon technical director Eamonn Tilley says their performances were another step towards making it to Brazil.

"Aidan is currently ranked 27th in the world but that's before we get our points from Lisbon so that will move him up a few slots. He and Catherine have two more races left, Scotland and France and we'll be looking for good performances in both those races, if he does that he will be in with a shot of qualifying. His category is the most competitive."

Eamon Tilley says Catherine Walsh is well positioned to make it to Rio: "We hope that when her points are calculated she will be in the top 10. The top seven get selected on the basis of their ranking points and then the remainder are selected by the International Paralympic Committee and the ITU based on their overall performances throughout the campaign."

He continued: "Everybody has to fight for their place, the last selection race is in France on the 18th June, but Scotland next weekend is crucial to us."

Darren Dunne Lisbon 1

Dunne 16th in Junior Race

Lisbon also saw TI juniors Darren Dunne and James Edgar race over the sprint distance. Dunne finished an excellent 16th after putting in one of the quicker runs of the day (16:21 for 5km). James Edgar meanwhile was the 8th quickest on the 750m swim and finished 28th overall.

Gomez Wins Elite Men's Race

The men's elite race saw Olympic favourite Javier Gomez race for the first time this season. The London 2012 silver medalist was one of a handful of athletes that broke away on the bike and he ran to a commanding victory in a time of 1:49:30.

The win was Gomez's 4th European title. Ireland's Ben Shaw swam a 17:12 for 1,500m but it wasn't enough for him to maintain contact with the lead group and he finished 35th overall.