Ireland’s Barry McClements, from Newtonards in Co. Down has claimed gold in the 400m Freestyle at the opening meet of the new Para Swimming World Series in Copenhagen this evening. The fifteen-year-old won in impressive style; touching in 4:31.35 notably smashing the PB he set in qualifying by almost four seconds.
Speaking about the win Irish team manager Hayley Burke said: “Barry was very disappointed to miss out on qualification for Rio last Summer by a small margin. That qualification mark was set at 4:34.39 and it’s something he’s been chasing as a target ever since. It’s testament to his determination that he smashed it today, with the medal a real bonus. It’s a great start to his international career, and a real boost for the coming season.”
All races at this new World Series are being run as multi classification meaning advancement from the heats, and final finishing positions are determined based on a points system.
Rio Paralympic medallist Ellen Keane raced in two finals tonight; the 100m Breaststroke and the 100m Backstroke, just missing out on the medals with a fourth-place finish in each. She lines up in two more events tomorrow.
Rio Paralympian Nicole Turner was the first Irish swimmer to go in this evening’s finals. The Laois Marlins swimmer so narrowly missed out on a podium place in the 50m Butterfly taking fourth in 38.05. She quickly followed this up with a seventh-place finish in the 400m Freestyle taking over three seconds off her time from this morning. Her final event tomorrow is the 200m Individual Medley.
Earlier today double Paralympian James Scully placed 19th overall in the heats of the 100m Freestyle. He concluded his day with an eighteenth-place finish in the 50m Freestyle heats. The Meath man races again in the morning.
UCD student Patrick Flanagan raced the 400m Freestyle and the 100m Backstroke heats in quick succession. The nineteen-year-old placed tenth and ninth respectively in each. Notably he recorded a new personal best time of 1:26.78 in the 100m backstroke.
Tomorrow’s morning session gets underway at 8.30am Irish time and live results are available on http://www.titanium-media.de/cms/index.php?id=20&va_id=249&date=2017-03-11
Bringing together some of the biggest competitions on the global calendar, the World Series takes in five countries across Europe and the Americas between March-July, leading into the 2017 World Championships in Mexico City in October. This first meet in Denmark will see 122 swimmers from nineteen countries begin the 2017 international season.
All athlete’s results at each World Series edition will be calculated using a standardised points system via an online virtual competition platform. This will ensure that the overall World Series winner will be the best performing athlete over the duration of the series, meaning that every performance counts.