Jenkinstown native Eve McCrystal alongside her tandem partner Katie George Dunlevy struck gold once again for Ireland early yesterday morning as they retained the Paralympic Time Trial title they won back in 2016 in Rio. The pair who won silver in the 3000m individual pursuit on Saturday went one better in their favoured road event covering the 32km course in 47:32, exactly one minute up on Great Britain’s silver medal winners Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall.
The duo cycling in their final Paralympics together are among the most decorated athletes Ireland have ever produced in these games and they will be looking to add yet another medal to their collection when they complete their Paralympic career in Friday’s road race which they also won in Rio five years ago.
Dunlevy was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa aged 11. Her vision impairment led to her becoming a paracycling competitor and, after declaring for Ireland, she has teamed up with her tandem pilot Eve with great success.
McCrystal, an elite cyclist in her own right (she is the current national TT champion) said she was delighted with the performance and the reward it had brought while also acknowledging the sacrifices both she and Katie had made along the way.
“We just went for it and I think we settled a bit after the first lap when we heard we were five seconds ahead of the field. I think we’re better ahead than when we are chasing so that gave us confidence,” explained Eve.
“I think we had the ride of our lives out there and we are just delighted to have won gold. We’ll go home and relax now and I’ll give my girls a ring and ask them how school went today and tell them Mammy won gold. We have the road race coming up on Friday so we will spend the next few days preparing for that,” added Eve.