Another lifetime best swim from Ards teenager Barry McClements in the junior final of the 100m Freestyle was the highlight for the Irish contingent on the second day of the World Para Swimming World Series meet in Berlin. His time of 1.01.10 saw him ranked tenth overall of the junior athletes in action.
Four of the six Irish swimmers raced today in the heats of the 100m Freestyle. Newcomer eighteen year old Sean O’Riordan from Cork recorded a new personal best in his heat with a time of 1:03.45. The visually impaired athlete who is competing in his first international competition has performed strongly so far.
UCD student Patrick Flanagan from Longford also put in a strong showing in the same event touching in a time of 1:23.52; right on par with his best this season. Rio Paralympian Ailbhe Kelly was the only female in action in the women’s 100m Freestyle and her time of 1:21.85 was pleasing considering she has just completed her Leaving Cert.
Fellow Paralympian Nicole Turner was withdrawn from today’s action due to an injury picked up in her breaststroke final last night and will not race in tomorrow’s 400m Freestyle heats either. Kelly, McClements, O’Riordan and Flanagan will all race again in the morning with Ellen Keane not competing again until Sunday.
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. Many of the world’s leading swimmers are competing this weekend vying for just a handful of places in the evening finals. For example 250 swimmers contested the men’s 100m Freestyle heats today with only places available in an A, B, C & junior final.
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.
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.
A live stream of all heats and finals should be available here
Irish team for 2017 Para Swimming World Series; Berlin, Germany
Ellen Keane; S9, National Aquatic Centre Swim Club Ellen Keane Profile
Nicole Turner; S6, National Aquatic Centre Swim Club Nicole Turner Profile
Patrick Flanagan, S7, Longford Swim Club Patrick Flanagan Profile
Sean O’Riordan, S13, Sundays Well Swim Club
Team Manager: Hayley Burke
National Coach: Jim Laverty
Team Psychologist: Stephen McIvor
Team Physiotherapist: Jon Faulkner
Team Physiologist: Ciara Sinnott O’Connor
Team Performance Analyst: Alan Swanton
Team Support: Andrea Gardner
2017 Para Swimming World Series Schedule
Copenhagen, Denmark 11-12 March 2017
Sao Paulo, Brazil 21-23 April
Sheffield, Great Britain, 27-30 April
Indianapolis, USA 9-11 June
Berlin, Germany 6-9 July
The 2017 World Para Swimming Championships take place in Mexico City from 30 Sep – 6 October.www.paralympic.org/swimming