Keane saves her best for last to land gold
Turner (16) follows silver medal glory with fifth place in freestyle final
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.
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.