Nicole Turner wins Ireland’s first silver at European Championships

Teenager comes home second in 50m butterfly S6 event at National Aquatic Centre

Ireland’s Nicole Turner receives her silver medal  in the  50m butterfly S6 event at the  Para Swimming Allianz European Championships at the  National Aquatic Centre in  Dublin. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ireland’s Nicole Turner receives her silver medal in the 50m butterfly S6 event at the Para Swimming Allianz European Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Nicole Turner lit up the National Aquatic Centre on Saturday night as she claimed Ireland’s first silver medal of the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships.

The 50m butterfly S6 event was considered Turner’s best chance for a medal in the lead up to Dublin 2018 and so it proved as the 16-year-old was able to feed off an incredible atmosphere to storm home in 36.75 behind Britain’s Eleanor Robinson, who took gold in 35.37.

Turner, who reached the final in each of her five events to date, had been close to that elusive medal several times this week but she made no mistake in her favourite event.

Turner will return to competition on Sunday morning in the women’s 100m freestyle S6 at 10:44am.

Ireland’s Nicole Turner in action during the 50m butterfly S6 event at the Para Swimming Allianz European Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Ireland’s Nicole Turner in action during the 50m butterfly S6 event at the Para Swimming Allianz European Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

James Scully was also in great form as he took to the pool for the first final of the day in the 100m freestyle S5. Scully, who raced in lane one, gave everything he had left in his final race of Dublin 2018 and was delighted with what was one of his best performances since the Rio Paralympics Games.

Barry McClements was the other Irish swimmer to bring his Dublin 2018 campaign to a close. McClements had qualified as the eighth-ranked swimmer for the final and he went on to defy those rankings as he finished in sixth place overall after a battling performance. Overall the 16-year-old Newtownards man will be very pleased with his week and will be a serious medal contender for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Earlier in the day Seán O’Riordan had competed in the heats of the men’s 100m freestyle where he set another personal best.

O’Riordan and Patrick Flanagan will also hope to get one more chance at medals on Sunday and Ellen Keane will go for gold in her strongest event, the 100m breaststroke SB8.

On a stunning week of record-breaking performances it was Saturday that produced the most, with five world records and two new European marks set.

Italy’s Antonio Fantin set the tone as he produced a new world mark in the 100m freestyle S5. Jessica Jane Applegate of Britain, Liesette Bruinsma from the Netherlands, the legendary Ihar Boki from Belarus and Denys Dubrov all set new records.

Lisa Kruger set a new European record in the women’s 200m individual medley SM10 and the curtain came down on the night in the best possible fashion with the Italian mixed 4x50m freestyle relay team completing the action in the pool with a new European record.

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