Boccia Star Johnny Is Ready to roll for London Games

Mallow doesn’t have any represen-tatives at the London Olympics, but the town will have an athlete to cheer for when Johnny (Jack) Cronin competes in the Paralympics, which take place in the English capital on August 29th.

Johnny, who is a top class exponent of the sport of boccia, has competed in every major boccia championship since 1997 with the exception of the Beijing Games in 2008, but he put that disappoint-ment behind him by securing qualification for this year’s Games. Johnny has many career highlights including a gold medal in doubles at the Sydney Games in 2000.

Also in the Ireland squad is Tom Leahy from Ballyhooly who is competing in his 8th Paralympics since 1984, and he has a dazzling list of wins, including silver in boccia in Atlanta in 1996, and a discus gold in Sydney in 2000. Tom will compete in the individual and team boccia competitions in London next month.

The Ireland team competing in London will consist of 49 athletes representing 20 counties and they head for Antrim this weekend for a training camp. They will also have a training camp in Limerick in August before flying to Portugal on August 16th for the ISC Pre-Games Holiday Camp, after which they will fly to London to take their place in the Paralympic Village on August 24th in advance of the opening ceremony on August 29th.