Ellen Keane has won gold in the SB8 100m Breaststroke and given Ireland its first medal of the 2020 Summer Paralympics with a personal best time.
Keane shattered her personal record with her gold medal swim as she recorded a time nearly two seconds better than her previous best – recorded in the heats of the event.
Keane won her heat in style with a then-personal best time of 1:21.71 and improved on it when it mattered most with a scintillating 1:19.93 in Wednesday morning’s final.
The 26-year-old’s rival in the heat, New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe got off to a better start in the race and took the lead early on.
The Irish Paralympian’s turn after the first 50 metres of the race swung the momentum in her favour and she chased Pascoe down to take home the top prize.
Keane overtook her opponent in the final stretch and touched home in first place with the New Zealander in second.
Pascoe won New Zealand their first medal of the Tokyo Games in a time of 1:20.32, with Adelina Razetdinova taking bronze for the Russian Paralympic Committee in 1:24.77.
Rio 2016 gold medalist Katarina Roxon was the fourth person to touch the wall, doing so for Canada.
Keane talked to RTÉ after her victorious race and spoke of an unexpected event that she feels helped her focus on the race.
“I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet,” she told RTÉ Sport. “When I dove in my goggles filled up with water but I think that was maybe a good thing because I couldn’t see where the girls were around me.
“Just on the turn I saw Sophie a little bit but I just had a game plan in mind and I stuck to that.”
Keane has added to her bronze medal from Rio with her performance on Wednesday in her fourth Paralympics and has opened the doors for more medal for the Irish athletes over the next two weeks.