Turner reaches third Paralympic final while Mongan falls short in Athletics
Ireland’s Nicole Turner continued her impressive form in the pool today making her third final of the Games in the S6 200m Individual Medley with a fourth place finish in her heat in a time of 3:17.09. British poster girl for the Games Ellie Simmonds won the heat breaking the Paralympic record in the process setting a new time of 3:02.40. The Irish team’s youngest member will have a further three events after tonight’s final (11.39pmIrish time), which will be shown live on RTE2.
Turner took out the race extremely strong turning first after the Butterfly leg. Her weakest link in the medley event; the Backstroke, saw her fall to fourth where she remained for the breaststroke and freestyle legs to finish in 3:17.09 and advance in 8th place overall. A delighted Turner commented “It was a really good swim, I normally struggle on the backstroke so I was delighted to keep in there and make another final.”
Team mate James Scully returned to the pool also, setting his second lifetime best in as many events when finishing sixth in the 50m Freestyle heats in 37.38sec. Despite knocking over half a second off his previous best (37.92), Scully finished in 10th place overall which was not enough to make tonight’s final. The 23-year-old was delighted to secure another best time “My hunger for this Games has been second to none, I’m coming in here really wanting those PB’s and really wanting those top performances. Finals, medals and placing’s are secondary, I’m here to beat myself really.”
In Athletics, Galway native, Deirdre Mongan was in action in the Women’s F 53 Shot Putt competition. Ranked fifth going into the final, Mongan produced a third round effort of 4.04 meters, twenty centimetres below her season’s best. This left Mongan lying fifth place going in to the final series of throws where she was unable to make any further improvement eventually finishing 5th behind the winner; Bahrain’s Fatema Nedham.
Commenting on the sweltering conditions in the stadium, a disappointed Mongan stated“It was way off what I wanted or would have expected. The conditions were not great and it’s disappointing` when you know you are capable of more. I do struggle in the heat and was unfortunate to b throwing on one of the hottest days.”
Commenting on plans for plans for the future, Mongan commented “Coming here I wasn’t thinking beyond Rio, but for now, I will go home and take stock.”
Elsewhere this morning, Irish para shooter Seán Baldwin was competing in his third event of the games – the R750m Rifle 3 positions qualifier. Ranked 22nd at the end of the Kneeling position round, Baldwin marginally improved his position in the in the remaining Prone and Standing positions to finish in 20th position, outside the top eight places who automatically qualify for the final.
Speaking afterwards, an upbeat Baldwin stated: “Today was a hard start, kneeling was a little tight, I found it very hard to get to the centre. My prone was very strong, it was excellent but standing again I struggled to hit the 10. I am really enjoying the day and looking forward to Wednesday.”
The Irish team continues to compete today in the sports of Sailing, Equestrian and 7-a-side football.
It has been confirmed that Ireland's sole wheelchair racer at these Games Patrick Monahan has been withdrawn from the T53 800m heats scheduled for September 14th, on medical grounds. Monahan, who is set to make his Paralympic debut in Rio is also scheduled to compete in the T53 marathon on Sunday, September 18th. It is hoped he will recover in time to take to the start line on the final day.