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Paralympic Swimming: McClements and Flanagan fail to make finals

Team Ireland had two athletes in the Tokyo Aquatic Centre early this morning for men’s swimming heats

Patrick Flanagan – Men’s 400m Freestyle – S6 Heat 2

Flanagan’s first race of Tokyo 2020 commenced just after 01:00 Irish time this morning.

The Sligo man started in lane one in the water, giving him a distinct disadvantage to those that could jump from the block.

Starting behind most of the other swimmers, Flanagan remained in eighth place after the second turn. After the halfway mark, he continued to drop off from the strong Mexican swimmers leading the race.

Flanagan finished the race with a time of 5:40.48 in eighth place 28 seconds behind the leader. He may be disappointed with the result of the race today but hopefully, he can build on this for his next event, the Backcrawl tomorrow morning.

Barry McClements – Men’s 100m Butterfly – S9 Heat 2

McClements began his fourth and final race of what has been a very busy Paralympic campaign a half an hour after Flanagan this morning. He has already shown some very strong performances in the last six days at the Tokyo Aquatic center but he was hoping to reach another final today.

McClements started the race in lane six with five other swimmers. The 19-year-old started fast and had himself in fourth at the turn, he remained with the leaders and posted a time of 1:02.83.

He needed to have an agonizing wait for the third heat to know if he had qualified. After watching the Australian William Martin break a world record he knew he missed out on a final place by 0.7 seconds.

This marks the end of McClements’ strong Paralympic journey after competing in four events and reaching one final.

The future seems bright for the teenager and Paris in three years’ time cannot come any sooner as McClements can only improve.

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