Paralympic Swimming: Young Ní Ríaín qualifies for 100m final

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Team Ireland had three swimmers in the pool in the early morning of Day One of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Starting just after 01:00 in the morning, Ireland’s swimmers began their Paralympic journey in the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.

Barry McClements – S9 400m Freestyle Heat 2

McClements lined up in lane seven of a strong heat. The 19-year-old began fast, making the first turn in third. Australia’s Tuckfield quickly burst away from the pack as the Irishman battle for a top-three finish.

By the halfway mark, he had dropped into fourth by milliseconds from Italy’s competitor. McClements began to tire in the outside lane coming into the final 100m.

The Down man finished the race in fifth place in a time of 4:27.11 which was a personal best for him at his debut Paralympic Games. This ranked him as the first reserve for the final that is later today.

Nicole Turner – S6 50m Freestyle Heat

This is Turner’s second Paralympic Games as she lined up in a heat with strong competitors. She got off to a decent start settling in with the rest of the pack in the quick race.

By the end of the length of the pool, Turner finished in fifth place in 35.47 seconds. This time set a new personal best for the swimmer. The Laois woman now moves onto the next race later today.

Róisín Ní Ríaín – S13 100m Butterfly Heat

Ní Ríaín, although in a good first heat, came in with high hopes starting in lane six. She is Ireland’s youngest athlete at this Paralympics at 16 years old.

From the start, she was pushing for the top. After a fast first length, she found herself in third place as four swimmers pulled away up top.

Ní Ríaín only continued to speed up in the final length and was very close to taking second place in the heat. She finished in a time of 1:08.18.

After the remaining heats, she finished in eighth place overall qualifying for the final later today. She stands less than two seconds behind a medal place, now wanting to go one step further.

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