Keane saves her best for last to land gold

Turner (16) fol­lows sil­ver medal glory with fifth place in freestyle fi­nal

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Front Page -

Ellen Keane saved the best for last as she de­liv­ered a dom­i­nant per­for­mance in her fa­vorite event to steam home and claim Ire­land’s first gold medal of the cham­pi­onships by a win­ning mar­gin of more than five sec­onds.

Keane dom­i­nated the race from the mo­ment she sur­faced af­ter a per­fect dive to lead the field right up un­til she touched the wall to con­firm her sta­tus as the women’s 100m breast­stroke SB8 Euro­pean Cham­pion. Ellen’s gold medal was her sec­ond – she won bronze in the women’s 200m in­di­vid­ual med­ley SM9 – and Ire­land’s third of an ex­tremely suc­cess­ful World Para Swim­ming Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship with Ni­cole Turner’s sil­ver medal from Satur­day com­plet­ing the col­lec­tion for the hosts.

Ellen’s emer­gence onto the podium was greeted with a huge Ir­ish cheer and an al­ready emo­tional oc­ca­sion was made all the more spe­cial as her gold medal was pre­sented by her long-time coach, and di­rec­tor of high per­for­mance for Par­a­lympics Ire­land, Dave Malone.

Ire­land’s other Euro­pean medal­list of the week, Turner, was also back in ac­tion in the fi­nals this evening. Turner, who com­peted on all but one of the seven days of Dublin 2018, has the re­mark­able record of reach­ing the fi­nal in ev­ery one of her six events.

Six­teen-year-old Turner put aside any fa­tigue to again de­liver a strong per­for­mance in the women’s 100m freestyle fi­nal. Her time of 1:18:07 was good enough for fifth po­si­tion in a race won by Ukrainian, Mereshko Ye­lyza­veta.

Pa­trick Flana­gan brought his Dublin 2018 to a close in the heats of the men’s 100m freestyle S6 as he nar­rowly missed out on a place in the fi­nal. Over­all, Pa­trick will look to some ex­cel­lent per­for­mances through­out the week and par­tic­u­larly in the men’s 400m freestyle S6 on Fri­day.

Ma­jor step

He will now look to Tokyo in the knowl­edge that he can com­pete with the best in the world. Seán O’Rior­dan also took a ma­jor step for­ward this week as he per­formed be­yond ex­pec­ta­tions through­out. His men’s 50m freestyle S13 heat saw him pro­duce a time of 28:82 to com­pete his week.

Af­ter seven days of in­ten­sive com­pe­ti­tion in the pool, wit­nessed by more than 4,000 spec­ta­tors, Team Ire­land can re­flect on a su­perb cham­pi­onship that saw para sports el­e­vated onto a new level in the pub­lic con­scious.

Ev­ery swim­mer pro­duced at least a sea­son’s best per­for­mance with six de­liv­er­ing new per­sonal best out­ings

Team Ire­land had a long wait for the first medal of the cham­pi­onships but when they ar­rived they did so in quick suc­ces­sion thanks to the ef­forts of Turner and Keane.

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