Bethany Firth Claims Silver at the IPC Swimming European Championships
Bethany Firth claimed the Irish Paralympic Swim Team’s second medal at the IPC Swimming European Championships when she took Silver in the S14 100m Backstroke in Berlin today.
Firth was just a second and a half behind the winner Marlo van der Kulk of the Netherlands and .06 ahead of Great Britain’s Natalie Massey who took bronze. Van der Kulk’s winning time was 1.09.96, Firth secured her Silver medal with 1.11.43 while Massey completed the podium trio with a time of 1.11.49.
Firth has banished her disappointment of finishing fourth in Monday’s S14 200 Freestyle final where both Van der Kulk and Massey both medalled. Firth’s silver medal is added to the bronze secured by Darragh McDonald in the S6 400m Freestyle earlier in the week.
Dave Malone, Head of Paralympic Swimming, commented, “Top performances from our athletes in the pool tonight. Bethany competing at her first major championships pulled out an amazing swim to finish in silver medal position in the women’s s14 100m backstroke, this performance is even more remarkable as Bethany is only 15 years of age and has certainly rattled the cages of Europe’s elite here in Berlin. James Scully pulled off a fantastic swim to finish in 5th place in the men’s S5 200m individual medley knocking 8 secs off his previous lifetime best time.”
After her medal winning performance Bethany Firth commented, “I was so happy with my swim tonight, I just wanted to swim well and to win a silver medal at European championships is a dream come true.”
Elsewhere Matthew Bell swam a lifetime best of 1.14.43 in the heat of the S14 100m Backstroke to qualify for the final. Bell clocked a consistent time of 1.14.76 in the final which left him in eight place overall.
Competition continues at the Swimming and Diving Center in Europasportpark.
Men’s S14 100m Backstroke; (1) Marc Evers (NED) (8) Matthew Bell 1.14.76 , (11) James Hamilton 1.17.25; Men’s S9 50m Freestyle; (1) Tamas Toth (HUN) 26.08 (18) Laurence McGivern 29.31; Men’s SM5 200m Ind Medley; (1) Ricardo Ten (ESP) 3.30.80 (5) James Scully 3.45.10; Women’s S14 100m Backstroke; (1)Marlo van der Kulk (NED) 1.09.96 (2)Bethany Firth 1.11.43 (3) Natalie Massey (GBR) 1.11.49; Women’s S9 50m Freestyle; (1) Sarai Gascon (ESP) 29.28 (10) Ellen Keane 32.31;
INFO SOURCE: Paralympics Ireland
For further information contact:
John Fulham, Communications Officer, Paralympics Ireland
T: 087 270 9182
David O’Síocháin, Pembroke Communications
T: 087 936 2440