Keane misses out on medal

Thu, Aug 30, 2012, 01:00

Paralympics - Irish round-up:Ellen Keane was unable to bag Ireland's first medal of the Paralympic Games in London this evening, when finishing seventh of eight in the 100m Butterfly S9 final. After a personal best of 1:13.15 in the heats this morning, Keane was a touch slower in the final (1:14.04).

The gold medal was won by reigning world and Paralympic champion Natalie Du Toit of South African in a time of 1:09.30.

“It wasn’t as good as I was hoping for," said Keane. "I can’t complain, I gave it my all and it hurt a lot more than this morning, but I was so happy with the race this morning”.

The 17-year-old will also compete in the 200IM and her preferred 100m breaststroke, an event in which she finished sixth in Beijing 2008.

James Brown and Damien Shawwere just edged out of a bronze medal by Spain at the Velodrome, in a monumental tussle in the men's individual pursuit B paracycling final this afternoon.

The Irish, who clocked a time of 4:25.557 to finish as the fourth fastest qualifiers, fell behind Miguel Angel Clemente Solano and Diego Javier Munoz early on but forced themselves into the lead before the halfway point of the 4km race.

The Spaniards, however, had more in the tank and fought back over the final kilometre to win by just over two seconds in a time of 4:24.015.

The Irish duo who have only been together since January and afterwards Brown said their best was yet to come.

“We will improve with more time together, we are racing against full-time professional bike riders whilst holding down a business and jobs. If we get a chance to spend more time training together on a full-time basis we will no doubt build on these results.”

James Scullynarrowly missed out on qualification for tonight’s 50m Freestyle S5 final finishing ninth fastest in this morning’s heats in a time of 38.18 seconds. Scully will now look to his favoured event, the 200m Freestyle on Saturday.

“I’ve got the first one over and done with, it felt good and I’m feeling fitter and stronger than ever before, I’ll get in and see what happens,” he said

Eilish Byrnefrom Co Louth, Ireland's first competitor at the 2012 Paralympic Games in any sport, returned a solid score of 67.15 per cent in para equestrian dressage in Greenwich Park this morning. Byrne, who finished eighth as an individual at Beijing in 2008, rides the Dutch Warmblood gelding Youri.

Despite her score, Byrne felt the performance was slightly below par. “Youri was a little tense and I struggled to keep him relaxed. Our score was a little lower than usual,” she explained.

The remaining three Paralympic dressage riders, USA-based Kilkenny man James Dwyer(riding Orlando), Helen Kearney(Mister Cool) from Co Wicklow and Yorkshire-based Dublin woman Geraldine Savage(Blues Tip Top Too), all compete tomorrow. They comprise Ireland's first ever Para Equestrian team to qualify for the Paralympics.

Britain’s Natasha Baker proved a class apart on her Paralympics debut. The 22-year-old posted comfortably the highest dressage score during this morning’s opening session in Grade II of the team competition.

Although Baker is riding only as an individual, her score of 76.095 per cent aboard Cabral proved ideal preparation for her Games campaign. She will contest individual medals on Saturday and next Monday, when she hopes to repeat her double European gold from last year."

Ronan Rooneylost both his games and bowed out of the table tennis men’s singles C2 preliminaries at the ExCel Arena today. He first succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to Beijing gold medallist Vincent Boury of France this morning and then lost by the same margin to Martin Ludrocsky of Slovakia this evening.

Philip Quinlanwill be back in action tomorrow having lost his opening game in the men’s singles M1 preliminaries match 3-0 to France's Jean-Francois Ducay.

Quinlan went 2-0 down very quickly but led in the third set before the enormous spin of his French opponent’s shots did for him. The Irishman faces British player Rob Davies tomorrow.

Cyclist Enda Smythfrom Santry was 16th of 28 in the men's individual 1km time trial C1-3, in a time of one minute 13.890 seconds. Smyth will be back in action tomorrow when faces Britain's Darren Kenny, who finished just outside the medals today in fourth place, in the individual C3 pursuit.

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