Paralympic dreams for Buncrana woman

Buncrana woman Rena Rooney - nee mcCarron, who is on the verge of qualification for the Paralympics, she is pictured here on the podium in Croatia with teammate, Eimear Breathnach.
Buncrana woman Rena Rooney - nee mcCarron, who is on the verge of qualification for the Paralympics, she is pictured here on the podium in Croatia with teammate, Eimear Breathnach.

Buncrana woman Rena Rooney is on the verge of qualifying for the Paralympics in London next year.

The Slavery born Rena heads to the final qualification tournament in Argentina this week in the hope of securing her place at London 2012.

Mrs. Rooney (nee McCarron) is currently the Irish Wheelchair Association Table Tennis Champion and has collected medals all over Europe this season.

Her latest victory was a bronze medal in the team event in Croatia. The Irish team defeated England in the battle for the medal position.

Mrs. Rooney described the victory over the Auld enemy: “We, my partner, Eimear Breathnach and I won bronze in team event in Croatia a few weeks ago, in Split. We did well and defeated GB for Bronze.”

The final score in that game was 3-1 against Cathy Mitton and Dzaier Neil from Great Britain. Rena beat Cathy Mitton and both Irish competitors beat Dzaier Neil, so they didn’t need to play the doubles section.

Qualification for the Paralympics is now tantalisingly close.

Mrs. Rooney competes in class 2 of the sport. There are different classifications dependant on the level of disability.

“I’m looking forward to Argentina and December 4. It is the final attempt to secure vital ranking points for qualification for London.

“At the moment, I’m in qualification slot, but there are a number of tournaments in Asia where I can be overtaken on the ranking list, and therefore lose my qualification slot. I won’t know if I’ve been successful till mid January.”

Table Tennis has been part of the Paralympic programme since the first Games at Rome in 1960, some 28 years before the sport made its Olympic debut.