Paralympic Swimming: Keane and Ní Ríaín claim new personal bests

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Team Ireland have two more swimmers that have qualified for finals this morning in the Tokyo Aquatic Centre

Ellen Keane – Women’s 200m IM – SM9 Final

Keane qualified for this medal race after a good swim this morning in the heats. She finished in a clear second place with a time of 2:40.99.

She has said that she is very relaxed going into these races knowing it is not her strongest event.

Although she will not be nervous, this is her last race in what has been a historic Paralympics for the 26-year-old. The gold medal she claimed in the breaststroke a few days ago could give her confidence to push on for a medal again.

The Dublin woman lined out in lane one and starting with the Butterfly she found herself in fourth at the turn. Backstroke is her weakest swim and she dropped off the top three a bit. Next was her favorite the breaststroke and she closed the gap on the medal places.

She finished with the freestyle but it was not enough as she hit the wall at 2:38.64, tiring and dropping into fifth.

The gold went to Australia’s Sophie Pascoe with Hungary’s Zsofia Konkoly taking silver and Spain’s Nuria Marques Soto getting bronze.

Keane can be proud of her performance after coming into the final ranked in seventh to only finish seconds off a medal.

Róisín Ní Ríaín – Women’s 100m Breaststroke – SB13 Final

This has been a monumental debut Paralympics for Róisín Ní Ríaín as she has taken part in six events.

In the heat for this event, she broke yet another personal best finishing in a time of 1:20.81. She is now ranked in fifth place overall going into the final and hoping to push for her first-ever Paralympic medal.

She started the race in lane two and sprung from the block. The Limerick woman could not find her best form by the turn and found herself in eighth. She pushed on in the last 50m and finished the race in seventh place in a time of 1:20.34, another personal best.

The gold medal went to Germany’s Elena Krawzow, Team GB’s Rebecca Redfern received the silver, and USA’s Colleen Young got the bronze.

Ní Ríaín can still be proud as this was her sixth event, fourth and last final for the 16-year-old at her first Paralympic Games. She will be treated as a hero when she returns home to Limerick in the next few days.

 

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