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Posted: 10 September 2008

Irish record set at Paralympics cycling in Beijing

Michael Delaney and David Peelo set a new Irish record in the cycling sprint in the Loashan Velodrome at 13th Paralympic Games. David Peelo, the sighted pilot rider, who has been racing competitively since 1984, is a member of staff in UCD Registry. The parallel cyclists are due to compete in several more cycling events over the course of the remaining days of the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

Olympic style games for athletes with a disability, the Paralympics were first held in Rome in 1960. By 2004, when the games were held in Athens, the number of participants had increased from 400 athletes from 23 countries to 3,808 athletes from 136 countries. More than 4,000 athletes from 150 nations will compete in the 13th Paralympics in Beijing. The Paralympics concentrate on the athletic achievements of the participants rather than their disability.

According to the parallel cyclists, any or all of their success is due in no small part to their strong working and training relationship - Michael Delaney who has peripheral vision rather than straight, and David Peelo who is the sighted member of the cycling duo.

"A sighted pilot rider needs to be a good match for the other person, with similar technique. Both members of the team have to be comfortable pedalling at syncronised speeds and be capable of communicating effectively with each other,” says Peelo.

"The team flew out to Beijing for training two weeks before the start of the Games to see how we would fare with the conditions over there.” And having just set a new Irish record, it would appear that the cycling duo have settled in just fine.

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Irish record set at Paralympics cycling in Beijing
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