From “Come & Try” to International Success


Fergus Cosgrove (Navan AC) and David O’Hare (Glenmore AC) secured a top 10 finish for Ireland competing at the 6th Athletics Down syndrome World Championships in Nymburk, Czech Republic last month. The Leinster pair took on 13 countries across the Triathlon, 100m, 200m and Long Jump. 

Cosgrove first took to athletics at the Glenmore AC Come and Try Event earlier this year held by the Louth/Meath Warrior Wolves, and Glenmore AC, supported by Tsyena and Athletics Ireland.  It proved to be a highly successful debut on the international stage for the Navan native, as he secured a 4th place finish in the 100m and 200m heats, missing out by a mere second on a place in the finals, 9th place in the men’s 4Kg Shot Put, 15th in the Long Jump. Based on points Cosgrove secured an overall 9th place in the Triathlon. 

O’Hare returned to international competition at the prestigious track of Jan Železný stadium in Mladá Boleslav after making his debut in 2021. Coming into the competition, O’Hare was on the lookout to secure new PB’s which he did across 3 events. On the position board he secured a 7th place finish in the 100m and 6th in the 200m heats, 11th in the Long Jump final, 15th in the Shot Put, just shy of a top 10 finish in the triathlon. 

The strong efforts of both Cosgrove and O’Hare seen Ireland reach a 6th place standing out of 13 countries. Both have now returned to Ireland and are working with their coaches to do even better at the 2023 Open European Championships in Italy. 

As part of this year’s Athletics Down syndrome World Championships, coaches were offered biometric testing for their athletes, in an effort to help both athletes and coaches in their development within the sport. For Cosgrove and O’Hare, it will enable their coaches to build a holistically tailored training programme to support these young athletes develop further in their careers and capabilities. It will also support the wider coaching community about working with athletes with Down Syndrome. 

During the event Ireland’s delegates, Tsenya, attended the General assemble of IAADS, International Athletic Association for persons with Down syndrome, where the calendar for 2023-2026 was discussed as they work even harder to broaden the range of opportunities available to athletes. As Tsenya returns home to create more opportunities, supported by local sports partnerships, Athletics Ireland and communities across the country, for local participation for all Irish athletes with Down Syndrome.

Link to all results: HERE

Any athlete interested to get involved in athletics is welcome to contact Tessa van Heerden or Athletics Ireland Sports Inclusion & Disability Officer David Daly 

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