Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Day 2: Ireland on the board as Ellen Keane swims to stunning gold

Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal set a national record; walkover for Colin Judge

 
  • Swimming: Ellen Keane takes gold for Ireland in the SB8 100m breastroke; another PB for Róisín Ní Riain in heats before she finishes sixth in final.
  • Cycling: Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal set a national record as they finish fifth; Ronan Grimes sets a PB on his Paralympics debut.
  • Equestrian: Rosemary Gaffney up in the Grade IV individual test at 9.51am; Tamsin Addison follows up in the Grade V individual test at 12.31pm.
  • Table tennis: Colin Judge receives a walkover in his SM3 singles match against Brazil’s Welder Knaf.

Swimming

Team Ireland have their first medal of the Olympics, after Ellen Keane swam to a stunning gold medal in the SB8 100m breastroke.

Keane swam a latest PB time of 1.19.33 to top the podium, just edging out New Zealand's Sophie Pascoe after a thrilling head-to-head battle.

The 26-year-old from Dublin is swimming in her fourth Paralympics and this is her second medal - eclipsing the bronze she won in Rio in 2016.

Keane had earlier enjoyed a fast start to her Paralympics - she won her heat in the 100m breaststroke (SB8) with a PB time of 1.21.71.

After her heat victory, the 26-year-old said: “The heat was fun, I just wanted to get in and swim fast and that’s what I did.

“Tonight though the girls I swim against are world class so anything can happen in the tonight in the final.”

Meanwhile 16-year-old Róisín Ní Riain qualified for her second final in as many days, after she also clocked a new PB in the S13 100m backstroke.

Members of Team Ireland celebrate Ellen Keane's gold medal win in Tokyo. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Members of Team Ireland celebrate Ellen Keane's gold medal win in Tokyo. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

She swam a time of 1.09.23 to finish third in her heat, with the final getting underway later at 11.12am. However, Ní Riain looked set to face stiff competition up against world and Paralympic record holder Gia Pergolini of the USA.

And that is how it transpired, with Pergolini setting a new world record of 1.04.64 on her way to gold. Ní Riain finished sixth overall after she swam a time of 1.08.61 - another PB.

She was just over two seconds away from the medal places, with Australia's Katja Dedekind swimming 1.06.49 to take bronze.

Róisín Ní Riain swam another personal best on the second day of the Tokyo Paralympics. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Róisín Ní Riain swam another personal best on the second day of the Tokyo Paralympics. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Cycling

It’s the second day of the Tokyo Paralympics and the personal bests keep rolling in for Team Ireland, both in the velodrome as well as in the pool.

The WB tandem duo of Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal flew to a time of 1.09.44 in the B 1000m time trial - setting a new national record in the process.

This was enough to see them finish sixth overall, with eventual winners Larissa Klaasen and Imke Brommer of the Netherlands taking gold after setting a new Paralympics record of 1.05.291.

Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal set a new Irish national record as they finished fifth at the Izu Velodrome. Photograph: Thomas Lovelock/PA
Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal set a new Irish national record as they finished fifth at the Izu Velodrome. Photograph: Thomas Lovelock/PA

Dunlevy and McCrystal will be back in action on day four in the 3000m individual pursuit.

After after their opening efforts, Dunlevy said: “We are really happy with our race, really happy with our result because we got a PB by 1.3 seconds and delighted with the race. We couldn’t have done any more, a PB is fantastic.”

Meanwhile McCrystal said: “ Today was a nerve settler for us. It was really good to have it before the 3k, so that we could go through the warm, the procedure. All you can do on the day is go faster than you’ve gone before and I think it shows that we’ve got form, hopefully it will carry on to the next three events.”

Galway's Ronan Grimes then continued a familiar theme for Team Ireland - he set a PB of his own as he made his Paralympics bow in the C4-5 1000m time trial.

Grimes posted a time of 1.08.262 in the final, which saw him finish 15th overall. Spain's Alfonso Llamas Cabello took gold after he posted a C5 world record of 1.01.557, edging out Britain's Jody Cundy who took silver.

Following his Olympics debut, Grimes said it was, "nice to get the nerves out of the way, go through the warm up, get a feel of the track under speed and hopefully that’s good confidence for tomorrow.”

Table tennis

Colin Judge has received a walkover in his singles match against Brazil’s Welder Knaf, following his day one defeat to China’s Zhao Ping.

The 26-year-old has progressed to the next round which takes place tomorrow.

Equestrian

Team Ireland have two athletes in action at Equestrian Park later this morning.

62-year-old Tipperary rider Rosemary Gaffney is up first in the Grade IV individual test at 9.51am.

She is followed at 12.31 by Tamsin Addison - the 48-year-old rides out in the Grade V individual test.

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