Ireland’s Bethany Firth finished in fourth place in the S14 200m Freestyle final at the IPC Swimming European Championships taking place in Berlin.
At just the tender age of 15 Firth swam a lifetime best of 2.20.33 to finish fourth behind Marlo van der Kulk 2.14.74 of the Netherlands in first place, Natalie Massey 2.15.03 of England in second and Magda Toeters 2.16.30 also from the Netherlands in third place.
Speaking after the race Firth was delighted with her performance saying ““I really enjoyed swimming in the finals tonight, it was great to have my first swim at the championships and I’m really now looking forward to the rest of the competition.”
Equally delighted was Dave Malone, Head of Paralympic Swimming, who commented, “ It was a great swim from Bethany this evening making a final at `15 years of age in her first appearance at a major championships and swimming a new best time finishing in 4th place”
There was some good news elsewhere in the tournament as James Scully, Jonathan McGrath and Ellen Keane all swam lifetime bests. Scully swam 38.26sec in the S5 50m Freestyle. John McGrath swam 31.37sec in the S8 50m Freestyle while Ellen Keane knocked 3 seconds off her SM9 Individual Medley personal best clocking a time of 2.41.13.
Scully, like Bethany Firth was thrilled with his performance “I felt strong throughout the swim, a 50 free would not be my best event so it was great to start the meet off so positively for me.”