Irish para swimmers Ellen Keane and Barry McClements both claimed medals on the concluding day of the inaugural Para Swimming World Series Meet in Copenhagen, Denmark. In this first international meet of the season Keane claimed gold and silver, with Barry McClements also securing silver.
Rio Paralympic medallist Ellen Keane was first up snatching silver in the 100m Butterfly Final in a time of 1:12.65. Although the vast majority of races at this new World Series are being run as multi classification meaning results are determined based on a points system, there are a handful of single class events on the programme. One of those is the SM9 200m Individual Medley final where Keane put in a commanding performance to take the top spot in 2:42.87 rounding off a rewarding day for the Clontarf athlete.
McClements, who claimed gold in the 400m Freestyle yesterday then added to his tally at this meet with an impressive silver in the final of the 100m Butterfly. The fifteen-year-old raced strongly to record his fourth personal best time of the weekend finishing in 1:05.15.
The Ards club swimmer rounded off a very successful weekend for himself by narrowly missing out on a podium finish in the 200m Individual Medley final. The Down teenager knocked almost three seconds off the personal best mark he set this morning to finish fourth in 2:31.43.
Fourteen-year-old Nicole Turner also recorded a fourth-place finish in the final of the 200m Individual Medley this afternoon. Notably her time of 3:15.29 was faster than she swam in the Paralympic final of the same event in Rio.
Longford’s Patrick Flanagan contested the final of the 50m Backstroke and placed seventh overall in 41.49, just marginally outside of the new personal best time he set in qualifying this morning.
Earlier today double Paralympian James Scully concluded his meet with an 11th overall in the heats of the 50m Backstroke.
Commenting on this first international of the season Irish team manager Hayley Burke said: “It was a good solid weekend of racing in the middle of the season. The World Series is a great opportunity for us to race against other para-swimmers during the season; normally we only get to do this at major championships so we believe this will benefit us massively moving forward. Always a bonus to come home with a medal or two – we’ll take four so!”
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.
Irish Results Para Swimming World Series 1; Copenhagen, Denmark.
100m Breaststroke final; 4th overall in 1:24.52
100m Backstroke final, 4th overall in 1:17.51
100m Butterfly final; Silver, 2nd overall in 1:12.65
SM9 200m Individual Medley final, GOLD, 1st overall in 2:42.87
50m Butterfly final; 4th overall in 38.05
400m Freestyle final; 7th overall in 6:00.59
200m Individual Medley final; 4th overall in 3:16.36
400m Freestyle final; GOLD 1st overall in 4:31.35 PB
100m Freestyle heats; 13th overall in 1:03.37
100m Butterfly final; Silver, 2nd overall in 1:05.15 PB
200m Individual Medley final; 4th overall in 2:31.43, PB
400m Freestyle heats; 10th overall in 6:03.45
100m Backstroke heats; 9th overall in 1:26.78 PB
200m Freestyle heats; 12th overall in 2:53.84
50m Backstroke final; 7th overall in 41.49
100m Freestyle heats; 19th overall in 1:28.99
50m Freestyle heats; 18th overall in 39.84
50m Backstroke heats; 11th overall in 50.86