Ireland Claim Gold and Silver on Day 1 of Paralympic Swimming World Championships
Darragh McDonald and Bethany Firth were Ireland’s first medal winners on the first day of competition at the Paralympic Swimming World Championships in Montreal Canada on Tuesday.
Wexford’s McDonald blasted the field in the 400m Freestyle S6 Final with a comprehensive win almost 20 seconds ahead of second place Nelson Crispin of Colombia. The Paralympic Champion and new World Champion led from the 100 metre mark and clocked a time of 5:19.23 to take Gold with Crispin finishing in 5:38.10.
A thrilled McDonald said after the race “I’m delighted, the year that was in it (Leaving Certificate), it just means the world to me to finish top place on the podium I have a good base now to go on into next year and bring the time down and challenge the World Record”
Ireland’s youngest team member Bethany Firth also claimed a medal on the opening night in Canada. Firth entered the Final of the Women’s 200m Freestyle S14 as the second fastest qualifier in a time of 2:13.78, a personal best for the 17 year old. She then bettered that time, taking another 2 seconds off to finish in 2:11.91 and claim Silver just behind Great Britain’s Jessica Jane Applegate who set a new World Record in the event of 2:09.88
Next up for Firth is the 100m Backstroke on Wednesday, an event in which she won Gold at the Paralympic Games in London.
Ellen Keane will be back in the pool tomorrow in both the 50m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley while James Scully will get his first taste of action in the 200m Freestyle.