Home favourites so close to medals at Para Swimming Championships

By Derek Kinnevey

It was a long wait for the three Irish finalists to compete in the finals on Day 2 of the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championship but Nicole Turner, Barry McClements, and Ellen Keane all featured last night.

Irish swimmer Sean O’Riordan is congratulated by his mother Maria yesterday after setting a new personal best during his morning heat, and following his excellent Leaving Cert results, during day three of the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre in Blanchardstown, Dublin.

Nicole Turner turned in an electric performance in the final of the Women’s 100 metre Breaststroke to finish fourth and narrowly miss out on a podium position.

That same race also produced the third world record performance of the day as Britain’s Maisie Summer Newton broke her own record with compatriot, Ellie Simmonds making it a British 1-2.

Barry McClements featured in a mightily competitive men’s 100 metre Butterfly S9, an event where the form showed that there would be little between the competitors and so it proved.

Barry turned at the 50m mark in 4th place and fought hard but his challenge faded as his expereienced competitors strove for home. Barry will be pleased with another strong performance as he took fifth position.

The Newtownards man will compete again today in the 100m Backstroke where he will be a strong contender.

The biggest cheer of the night came for the last event as Ellen Keane competed for the first time.

Keane’s heat had been cancelled earlier in the day leaving Ellen to wait longer than planned before she could make her Dublin 2018 bow. Keane put in a solid performance finishing in fourth place in the Women’s 100 Metre Butterfly. The Rio Paralympian will be happy to get her championships underway and will look forward to her stronger events that come later this week.

Sean O’Riordan enjoyed some great results both in and out of the pool as he set another personal best, his second of the championships, and celebrated by opening his Leaving Certificate results. Sean, who competed in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley was delighted as he left the pool at the National Aquatic Centre with a new personal best time of 2:36:04 and he was equally pleased when he opened his results with his family afterwards.

Three more world records were achieved on Day 3 of the championships

The first came from Liesette Bruinsma in the Women’s 400m Freestyle S11 event as the Dutchwoman claimed her second gold medal of the championships.

Maisie Summers Newton broke her own mark whilst Italy’s Carlotta Gilli finished seven seconds clear of the field as she broke her own record with a time of 2:22:12 in the women’s 200 IM S13.

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