Day 03 Morning Report

MCDONALD & SCULLY ADVANCE TO FINALS IN THE POOL IRISH MIXED COXED FOURS PROGRESS TO FINAL B

MORNING HIGHLIGHTS:

Swimming Darragh McDonald got his Paralympic campaign underway today with a very convincing heat swim in the 400m Freestyle where he touched first in 5:02.38 with a 26 second lead on his closest competitor. McDonald, who won Silver in Beijing, bettered his previous PB of 5:05.04 by over 2 seconds to go into tonight’s final as the fastest qualifier ahead of World record holder Anders Olsson who beat him to take Gold in Beijing.

And according to Darragh there is plenty more in the tank “I was trying to get a time good enough for the top three lanes for the final tonight, I was holding back a bit just to have that little bit more for the final so there’s plenty more left in me for tonight”.

James Scully will also be back in action tonight, he battled hard to finish third in his heat and qualify as 6th fastest into tonight’s final of the 200m Freestyle S5. He held the 4th place position for 150m and drove on in the last 50m to overtake Brazil’s Coldoaldo Silva and ensure qualification for the final. Scully was delighted with his time which is his 3rd fastest time ever “(the race) felt really strong, it’s the strongest I’ve felt ever really, it was slightly slower than my PB but I’m really happy with that, it’s the first time I’ve gone under 3 minutes this year, hopefully I can pick up some positives from this, fix some things and go faster”.

Tonight’s finals will get underway with Darragh McDonald at 17.44 and James Scully taking to the pool for his first Paralympic final at 18:51.

Rowing On their second day at Eton Dorney, the Irish mixed coxed fours gave a strong performance this morning as they competed in the Repechage.

The Irish boat stroked by Kevin Du Toit, with Sarah Caffrey, Shane Ryan and Anne-Marie McDaid making up the quartet and Helen Arbuthnot as cox, finished 4th in the Repechage with a time of 3:34:85, behind the crews from Ukraine, China and Canada.

The Irish boat has now progressed to Final B which takes place tomorrow morning (Sunday) at 10.30am, where the crew will be ranked in order of performance.

Athletics Catherine O’Neill began her Paralympic campaign this morning with a 4th place finish in the Womens Club competition F31/32/35. O’Neill looked composed in the electric atmosphere of the stadium and threw a distance of 13.64 which was enough to qualify her for the final. In the final, O’Neill threw a distance of 13.05 which was not enough to move into a medal position.

Speaking after the event O’Neill commented “I threw well in the first three throws but it just didn’t happen for me. Disappointing!! The atmosphere was quite distracting so I worked hard to block it out. I look forward now to my main event, the Discus.

Cycling In a morning where the World Record was broken twice, Cathal Miller failed to qualify for the 4km Pursuit Final in a time of 4.49.237.

Speaking after the event he said he was disappointed saying

“the wheels came off the wagon when Butterworth (GB) passed me, I feel I let everyone down”

after a harsh race where the crowd willed his opponent to a World Record time, with Miller being passed by the rider during the race.

Meanwhile, in an event that is not their priority, Brown and Shaw finished a fine ninth position in the 1km Time Trial, an event which is not their priority, in a time of 1.07.979. In a drama filled affair the event was won by World Silver Medalists Fachie and Storey from GB, with the British World Champions and Kappes and Maclean not being awarded a third restart following two mechanicals.

The duo, who have only been together since December, were silver medallists in the World Championships in February, in their first competition together. However, on Thursday they narrowly missed a bronze medal in this event.

Speaking after their 1km race today, where the Irishmen clocked an average speed of almost 53kmph, Brown said “We are happy with our performance, our main event is the 4km pursuit, if we concentrated on every event there would be something wrong, we got a PB, you can’t ask for much more.”

Shaw added:

“It was great experience racing in front of the crowd again, the atmosphere here is brilliant.”

While the bike was fourth in action, the two bikes before them suffered mechanical failure while leaving the gates and were awarded a re-start. When asked if this affected their performance Brown demonstrated the level of professionalism and focus of the Irish saying

“that was their mechanical, it was nothing to do with us, we focused on our own performance.”

COLLATED RESULTS:

Swimming Men’s 400m Freestyle S6 Heats Qualifers: 1. Darragh McDonald (IRL) 5:02.38, 2. R. Wickens (AUS) 5:28.56, 3. S. Iwanow (GER) 5:33.28, 4. D. Londono (COL) 5:34.10

Men’s 200m Freestyle S5 Heats Qualifers: 1. D Diaz (BRZ) 2:36.51, 2. S Rodriguez (ESP) 2:45.96, 3. James Scully (IRL) 2:57.36, 4. C Silva (BRZ) 2:59.58

Rowing Mixed Coxed Four - LTAMix4+ Repechage 1: 1. Ukraine 3:23.53, 2. China 3:25.03, 3. Canada 3.28.82, 4. Ireland 3:34.85, 5. Russia 3:43.84

Athletics Women’s Club Throw – F31/32/51 Medalists: 1. M. Ibrahmi (TUN) 23.43, 2. M. Gasmi (ALG) 22.51, 3. G Prescott (GBR) 20.50, 4. Catherine O’Neill (IRL) 13.64

Cycling Men’s Individual B 1KM Time Trial Medallists: 1. N Fachie & B Storey (GBR) 1:01.351, 2. J E Porto Lareo & J A Villanueva Trinidad (ESP) 1:02.707, 3. R Oost & P Bos (Ned) 1:03.052, 9. James Brown & Damien Shaw (IRL) 1.07.979

Men’s Individual Pursuit C5 Qualifers: 1. M Gallagher (AUS) 4:30.012, 2. J A . Butterworth (GBR) 4.35.026, 3. X. Liu (CHN) 4:35.386, 4. Y. Dementyev (UKR) 4:43.881, 8. Cathal Miller (IRL) 4:49.237

Equestrian Individual Championship Test – Grade II Medallists: 1. N. Baker (GBR) 76.857, 2. B. Napel (GER) 76.048, 3. A. Trabert (GER) 76.000, 5. Eilish Byrne (IRE) 73.429

London 2012, London 2012 PRGarreth