Swimming sensations Ellen Keane and Nicole Turner continued their successful Games, both reaching the final of their respective events yesterday.
Keane clocked 1:10.95 to finish second in her heat of the S9 100m butterfly, knocking over half a second off her previous best of 1:11.56. “I’m really happy,” she said. “My goal was to make the final and I did that.”
Turner, meanwhile, somehow found the energy within her to reach her fifth straight swimming final in Rio, clocking 1:48.13 in her heat of the SB6 100m to advance through yesterday morning.
“The swim was alright,” said Turner, who at 14 is the youngest member of the Irish team. “I feel that in the final I can push a little bit harder. To say that this is my fifth final at my first Paralympic Games is unbelievable. I’m pretty tired but when I swim I like it so I pick myself up again.”
Pat O’Leary finished sixth at the Lagoa Stadium, the venue for Ireland’s rowing heroics during the Olympics, in the canoeing KL3 200m final in 42.78, less than three seconds behind race winner Serhii Yemelianov of Ukraine.
“Anyone who’s ahead of me, I know how hard I’ve worked so they must have worked bloody hard to get there,” said O’Leary. “I’m still very proud of what I did. If what I am is sixth in the world, then how bad is that?”
Over at the Olympic Stadium, however, there was heartbreak for 400m runner Paul Keogan, who was disqualified in his heat of the F37 400m for a false start, bringing his Games to a close before they even began.
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