"I know how bloody hard I've worked to get here" - Patrick O'Leary reacts to reaching the KL3 canoeing final

The race will go ahead tomorrow afternoon

Patrick O'Leary

Image: Twitter/@ParalympicsIRE

Patrick O'Leary will compete for a Paralympic medal tomorrow afternoon in Rio after progressing to the final of the KL3 canoeing.

 O'Leary came through a quick-fire heat and then semi-final within the space of an hour and finished third in the latter to book his spot in tomorrow's final.

Speaking after the race, he expressed his satisfaction at the result and said it would important to refocus ahead of the final.

"It feels brilliant, absolutely brilliant," he told Paralympics Ireland. "I was coming in ranked seventh so if I hadn't made the final I would have been really disappointed considering there are eight places in the final.

"The guys out there really threw it up to us. They were in my sights all of the way, the guys that were behind. But it's great.

"I'll get a good rest now and see what tomorrow brings."

The conditions in Rio this morning were quite difficult, with high intensity heats races happening in warm weather and very little time between races.

"It is a bit hard alright. I mean, normally we'd do heats in the morning, semi-finals in the evening and the final the following day. But because it's a compressed programme, we had an hour which does tire you out. 

"We would do it in training and we did them 20 minutes apart but it's still tough. You wouldn't be feeling great afterwards." 

Asked whether or not a medal was a realistic goal he replied: "It's about performance for me. You're in a laned race, you go as quick as you can and that's it.

"You are actually racing yourself. If there are guys in front of me, they deserve it because they've done the work, you know? Because I know how bloody hard I've worked to get here.

"All I can do is go as hard as I can. There's no pressure on me... There's one or two lads within spitting distance of me so hopefully I can knock one or two of them off and then we'll see what comes."