A team of six Irish swimmers are competing at the final World Para Swimming World Series meet in Berlin, Germany this weekend (6th – 9th July). The team features Rio Paralympic bronze medallist Ellen Keane, as well as fellow Paralympians Nicole Turner from Laois and Ailbhe Kelly from Castleknock. They will be joined by upcoming young swimmers Barry Mc Clements from Newtownards, UCD’s Patrick Flanagan and making his international debut eighteen year old Sean O’Riordan from Cork.
Bringing together some of the biggest competitions on the global calendar, the World Series will take in five countries across Europe and the Americas between March-July, leading into the 2017 World Championships in Mexico City in October. At the previous editions in Copenhagen and Sheffield the Irish team claimed medals and several personal best performances.
The heats got underway this morning with all six Irish swimmers in action. All races at this new World Series are being run as multi classification meaning advancement from the heats is determined based on times linked to a points system. Three of the six Irish swimmers have advanced to finals this evening with McClements first to race in the C final of the 100m Butterfly. Paralympic medallist Keane will then contest the B final of the Women’s 100m Butterfly before she races again in the 100m Breaststroke final a little over an hour later. Nicole Turner will also contest the B final of the 100m Breaststroke.
Speaking ahead of this evening’s finals Irish team manager Hayley Burke said: “This meet is the biggest test of the season so far with many of the world’s best swimmers here. We’ve just come off the back of a really solid warm weather camp for the past two weeks so the team are in great shape and looking forward to racing. They performed well this morning with personal best swims already from Barry, Nicole, Patrick and Ailbhe.”
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. The overall winners of the first ever World Series titles will be decided in Berlin.
Racing got underway this morning and a live stream should be available here