Records Continue to Fall in Dublin
It was another day of fantastic performances from the competition pool at the Swim Ireland National Aquatic Centre as Team Ireland continued to show good form in the pool whilst more world records fell throughout Day 2 of the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships.
The Irish swimmers have had some performances to remember with 6 Season’s Bests, 5 Personal Bests and 7 finals reached to date. Patrick Flanagan set the tone for the day as he recorded a 5 second personal best in the 100m Backstroke S10 event, which marked a dramatic improvement for the young Longford man. Unfortunately for Patrick, his final did not go according to plan as he was disqualified from the final for technical reasons.
Barry McClements also made his first appearance at Dublin 2018 and although he did not advance to the final he will be happy to have got this warm up swim out of the way as he looks to his stronger events later in the week.
Nicole Turner will be delighted with her overall performance as she qualified comfortably for the final of the Women’s 200 Individual Medley SM6 and went on to post her best ever time in the final. Her time of 3:09:34 was good enough for 5th place as she competed in an event that saw Maisie Summers Newton of GB set a new World Record.
Ailbhe Kelly is the success story to date for Team Ireland as she was again inspired by competing in her home pool to reach her second final in the 400m Freestyle S8 event. Ailbhe again showed her class as she produced her best ever performance in this event to set a new PB of 5:34:00 to finish 5th.
The final athlete in the pool for the host nation was European Championships debutant, Sean O’Riordan. The young Corkman showed no sign of nerves as he recorded a brilliant PB of 1:21:29 ending Day 2 of the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships on a high note for Team Ireland.
Jonathan McGrath suffered a big disappointment as he was disqualified in the call room for technical reasons and never had the opportunity to compete in his 400m Freestyle heat.
Elsewhere it was another day for records to tumble as Maisie Summers Newton and Thomas Hamer both set new World Records for Great Britain with the other World Record coming from Yaroslav Semenenko of the Ukraine. Antonie Ponce Bertran (Spain) and Simone Barlaam of Italy both broke European Records and, in the very last race of the day, the Mixed 4 x 50 Metre Medley 20 Pts event, the Ukraine team shattered the World Record to bring the curtain down on a great day in the pool. The most exciting race of the day was the Men’s 50M Freestyle S4 that finished in a dead heat as Arnost Petracek of the Czech Republic and Darko Duric of Slovakia both recorded a time of 40:40 to share the gold medal.
Tomorrow Sean O’Riordan, Nicole Turner and Barry McClements will all return to the pool whilst Ellen Keane will make her long awaited first appearance of Dublin 2018 in the Women’s 100m Butterfly at 12:31pm.