Paralympics Ireland lost one of its leading lights yesterday as Co. Down swimmer Bethany Firth’s bid to change allegiance to Great Britain was given the green light by the International Paralympic Committee.
Firth kick-started an unforgettable 16-medal haul for the Irish Paralympic team at the London 2012 Games by claiming a gold in the S14 100m backstroke and further success has been banked since.
The 17-year old collected three silver medals at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal last August and there is little to suggest that she will not continue to amass podium places in the years to come.
“Bethany’s progress under the Paralympics Ireland high performance swimming programme since joining us serves as a shining example of the potential within us all to achieve greatness,” said Paralympics Ireland in a statement yesterday.
“Ultimately this is a personal decision for Bethany,” it continued, “and we in Team Ireland would like to express our gratitude to her for all that she has achieved in her time competing with Team Ireland and we wish her all the very best in the future.”
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