Three fantastic Personal Best times from Dubliner Ailbhe Kelly, 14-year-old Barry McClements and Laois swimmer Nicole Turner today have rounded off another hugely successful day for the Irish swim team on Day 5 of the IPC European Open Swim Championships.
Turner – who has secured two silver European medals already this week – was first to hit the water for Ireland in the finals this evening, competing in the Women’s 50m Freestyle S6. She booked her spot in the race following a swim of 37.03 in the heats, and went on to secure her Personal Best with a 36.27 swim in the final.
“I was a bit disappointed after the heat this morning, my dive wasn’t the best, but this evening just went to plan. It’s hard to judge a 50m – it’s either going to go really good for you or really bad for you so I’m delighted.”
Ailbhe Kelly also emerged from the pool beaming this evening, after she swam a Personal Best time of 1.26.97 in the final of the Women’s 100m Backstroke S8.
“I’m really happy – I’ve been hitting 1.27’s for over a year now, I didn’t want to come away from here without a 1.26 and I just slipped under it [the 1.27 mark] so I’m really, really happy.”
Also in the finals for Ireland this evening was Jonathan McGrath, who swam home in a time of 1.19.40 in the 100m Backstroke S8.
Speaking afterwards he said: “I’m pretty tired now, the last few days have been difficult since the 400m Freestyle, but I haven’t given up – I’ve kept fighting and fighting. The times may not be great, but I’m really, really trying.
“I’ve the 50m Freestyle on the last day, so it’s a nice way to finish up. I’d just like to thank everyone for all their messages of support over the last few days – it means a lot.”
Earlier on in the day, 14-year-old Barry McClements also secured a fantastic new Personal Best time in the Men’s 100m Freestyle S9 heat in a time of 1.03.70.
The Irish swim team is proudly sponsored by Allianz,, an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.