Ireland’s Ellen Keane and Nicole Turner both swam lifetime best times in their respective finals of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke at the Paralympic Swimming World Championships in Glasgow tonight to each finish fifth.
Thirteen year old Turner was first up in the final of the Women’s 100m Breaststroke (SB6 class*) and shaved yet more time off the huge personal best she set this morning in the heats. The teenager clocked a time of 1:48.07 to finish fifth in a final that was won in world record time by fellow thirteen year old Tiffany Thomas Kane of Australia in 1:34.95.
Beijing and London Paralympian Keane then took to the blocks in the final of the 100m Breaststroke (SB8 class*) and similarly swam faster than ever before setting another personal best of 1:22.50 in finishing fifth. Having won her heat this morning Keane was hopeful of contesting a place on the podium but in an incredibly tightly fought race barely a second and a half separated silver from fifth as double Paralympic champion and world record holder Olesia Vladykina took gold in a new Championship record of 1:17.47.
Speaking after the race Keane said: “Although I’m really pleased with my two PBs today I’m disappointed with the result. I know I have more in me but it was just such a tough race and it just didn’t go my way. I’m already thinking of how to improve and close that fine margin”
Reflecting on the day team manager Hayley Burke said: “That was such a tight contest there for Ellen. She’s swam three big PB’s in two days and it’s just a pity it wasn’t good enough for the podium tonight. She can’t do any more than swim her fastest ever race and it really just did come down to the touch tonight and luck just wasn’t on her side.”
She went on to add: “Nicole is just doing so well, to PB twice in one day and finish fifth in such a competitive class is so impressive, it’s a busy week for her and she’s just exceeding all expectations.”
In a packed schedule for her this week Nicole Turner is back in the pool again tomorrow in the heats of the 50m Butterfly. The Laois teenager would regard this as her second best event, and is ranked tenth on times going into it so will have it all to do if she is to progress to the final.
London 2012 Paralympian James Scully will be back out before team mate Turner in the heats of the Men’s 200m Freestyle (S5 class) just after 11am. This is the Meath athlete’s leading event and he is ranked seventh going into it so will be hopeful of claiming a place in the final.
These Championships are a key milestone on the road to Rio 2016 Paralympic Games qualification. Swimmers who win gold and silver in their events earn automatic qualification slots for their country. For the others the highest possible finish is vital as the remaining slots are allocated based on world rankings in 2016.
All races can be viewed live on our dedicated page on our website http://bit.ly/1UTQM4P
The Irish team is proudly sponsored by Allianz; an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.