Turner finishes 7th in Freestyle final while footballers go down to hosts Brazil


Swimming sensation Nicole Turner, in her second final in as many days finished in seventh place in the S6 50m Freestyle Final last night at the Rio Aquatic Centre. The Laois teenager swam an impressive 36.31 seconds, just five hundredths of a second shy of her best ever time. Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mareshko set her second Paralympic Games Record of the day to win gold in 33.43 seconds.

14-year-old Turner is enjoying her Games experience and looking forward to her four remaining events next week “I’m really happy, it’s better than this morning, I performed to my best and I got what I wanted out of it. Yesterday I was a bit nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect, I’m getting into things now, so it makes it easier. I still have the 200IM, 100m Breaststroke and 100m and 400m Freestyle to come so hopefully I can get as close as I can to PB’s on them too.”

Turner has a rest day today and returns to the pool on Monday for the 200m Individual Medley. Team mate Ellen Keane will make her first appearance at these Games, also in the 200m IM in her class, while Ailbhe Kelly returns for the 100m Freestyle heats.

Meanwhile in Table Tennis, Rena McCarron Rooney bowed out of the TT2 singles competition at the quarter-final stage after losing in straight sets; 11-5, 11-8, 11-3 – to South Korean top seed Su Yeon Seo.

The Galway-based athlete lost her opening game on Thursday to defending two-time Paralympic champion Jing Liu of China but bounced back with a convincing victory over Jordan’s Maha Bargoughti. In the quarter-final pairing McCarron Rooney gave the World number one a serious challenge in the second set which she led 8-5, with the Korean forced to deliver some brilliant serves to pull clear.

“I had a great second set but it just wasn’t enough,” McCarron Rooney said, “But I still feel I played quite well today and felt I couldn’t have done any more. She’s just so athletic and fast with great mobility. I’m delighted to have reached a quarter-final. I’m also exhausted mentally and physically but I’ve learned a lot here also and really feel I’d know how to play those two top seeds again in the future”

Elsewhere, Ireland’s 7-a-side football team came a cropper to some real samba football when they suffered a 7-1 defeat to home side Brazil in their second group game last night. An early goal, after just four minutes, from Wanderson Silva de Oliveira got the Brazilians off to the perfect start in front of the partisan 7,000 home crowd.

Every touch by the skilfull home side was greeted with huge cheers but Ireland were very unlucky to concede a second goal in the 16th minute, when Leandro Goncalves do Amaral’s drive took a deflection off a defender. Three minutes later the Brazilians had a third and Ireland did well to hold them to 3-0 by half-time as Aaron Tier’s goalmouth was peppered with shots by the break.

A header by towering Brazilian defender Fabrizio Nascimento de Olivereiro put them 4-0 up within four minutes of the re-start, and only a brilliant save by Aaron Tier stopped them increasing it further moments later.  However, the impressive home side went 5-0 up in the 40th minute and were 6- 0 up nine minutes later. There was simply no holding the fantastic Brazilians who got a seventh goal in the 52nd minute, despite Joe Markey’s best effort to keep it out. Ireland’s only goal came from second half substitute Dillon Sheridan.

Afterwards Irish manager Barry Ferguson said: “We never really came out of the traps, they’re a really good team but we never showed up, that was the disappointing thing. We were 1 nil down after four minutes and that was the game over. I think the atmosphere and the occasion got to us a little bit,” he added.

“We’ll need to do a lot of recovery now to try and lift them for our game with GB. It’s probably not the bodies but the minds that we’ll need to lift but we’ll all work hard together to recover. Brazil are a smashing team and I’d imagine the final will be between them and Ukraine.”

Ireland will play Great Britain in their final group game on Monday at 8.15pm Irish time.

Day four of these Games for the Irish sees Antrim’s Michael McKillop line up to retain his 1500m title, whilst team mate Orla Comerford goes it the final of the T13 100m. Catherine Walsh and her sighted guide Fran Meehan become the first ever Irish para triathletes when their event gets underway at Copacabana. The final day at the veledrome for the Irish sees the female tandem of Katie George Dunlevy and pilot Eve McCrystal. 

You can read the full round-up from this morning here.

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