On the penultimate day of competition at the Paralympic Swimming World Championships in Glasgow this morning there were just two Irish swimmers in action.
Sixteen year old Ailbhe Kelly swam impressively to place fifth in her S8 100m Backstroke heat and qualify for her first world championship final at 6.58pm this evening. Kelly, who is a member for the National Aquatic Centre swim club, finished in a time of 1:27.70 just 0.4 of a second outside of her PB set earlier this year.
London Paralympian Jonathan McGrath, from Killaloe in Co.Clare, raced in the men’s S8 100m Backstroke but placed sixth in a time of 1:17.84 which was not enough to make tonight’s final and instead saw him 13th overall.
On the final day of competition tomorrow four of the Irish swimmers will be racing. Bronze medallist on the opening day Darragh McDonald will race in the S6 100m Freestyle. Thirteen year old Nicole Turner raced in five finals this week also contests the 100m Freestyle (S6 Women’s). James Scully who produced a 50m Freestyle PB yesterday will also be racing in the 100m Freestyle in the S5class. Ellen Keane will be concluding her championships in the SM9 200m Individual Medley.
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.