Fourteen-year-old Nicole Turner has won a bronze medal in the 50m Butterfly final at the Para Swimming World Series in Sheffield. The Laois native, who competes in the S6 class, raced impressively to record a time of 37.44seconds (851 points); notably just outside of the lifetime best time she set in the Paralympic final in Rio.
These World Series races are being run as multi class so athletes from different classes are racing in the same heats, and finals, with placings determined on a points system. Paralympic champion in the same class as Nicole; Britain’s Ellie Robinson, won gold with 927 points, with Tammy Cunnington of Canada taking silver with a time equivalent to 923 points.
Ireland’s other two swimmers in action tonight; Ellen Keane and Barry McClements were both delighted to record new personal bests when finishing sixth and eighth in their respective finals.
Paralympic bronze medalist Keane recorded her best ever time of 1:10.94 in the 100m Butterfly, with Ards teenager McClements setting a new mark of 1:04.73 in the Men’s equivalent. McClements had qualified from the heats ranked eighteenth so to climb ten places in the finals was notable.
Earlier today nineteen year old Patrick Flanagan, who races with UCD, contested the heats of the 100m Backstroke but finished outside of a top twenty place needed to advance to the finals.
After the finals proper concluded McClements, Keane and Turner also contested a fun event this evening known as SKINS. SKINS event comprises of the top eight from the 200m Individual Medley in the S5-S13 classes racing over seven 50m sprints on a four-minute interval. Each round the swimmer with the lowest points is eliminated until the winner is crowned. As it’s a medley event, the strokes per 50m are randomly selected just before the swim, so swimmers don’t know what stroke they’re swimming until they race!
Turner was first of the Irish to be eliminated in the SKINS placing seventh in the Women’s 200m IM, with McClements securing an impressive fourth place finish in the Men’s version.
Three time Paralympian Ellen Keane put together a brilliant series of races to get down to the last two against arguably one of the greatest ever para swimmers in Jessica Long. The last leg of seven was Backstroke and with both athletes going all out for the win Long just snatched it on 739 points ahead of Keane on 718.
After racing a pleased Irish coach Jim Laverty remarked; “We had some excellent performances from the guys on day three. Our swimmers came to this meet without rest but because of the recovery protocols we have in place they have been getting faster and faster every day really showing our protocols to be effective. Having three swimmers in SKINS tonight was really exciting and something different!”
Turner, McClements and Flanagan all race tomorrow on the final day of competition in Sheffield. The results and live stream can all be accessed here https://www.britishswimming.org/browse-sport/para-swimming/bpsim-2017-live-stream/
The World Series takes in some of the biggest Para swimming competitions around the world ahead of the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City in September. Sheffield is the third of five events in the series and by far the most competitive to date with over 300 swimmers from 20 countries competing.
DAY 3 RESULTS
6th in 100m Butterfly final in 1:10.94 PB
2nd in SKINS event
BRONZE medal in 50m Butterfly in 37.44
7th in SKINS event
8th in 100m Butterfly final in 1:04.73 PB
4th in SKINS final
100m Butterfly, 1:28.75, did not advance to final