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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 4 March 2021
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Paralympic Village: Day 1, wrap

There were mixed fortunes for Team Ireland today, with Ellen Keane among the athletes who impressed.

Ireland's Ellen Keane.
Ireland's Ellen Keane.

DAY ONE OF the Paralympics provided plenty of talking points.

There was disappointment for James Brown and David Shaw, who narrowly missed out on a bronze medal.

In addition, Enda Smyth also put in an excellent performance, coming seventh in in the Individual C1-2-3 1km time trial and setting a new Irish record in the process.

And there was excitement elsewhere too, with a number of athletes, including Brazil’s Daniel Dia and Zheng Tao of China, setting world records in their respective events.

Headline of the day:

Heartbreak for Brown and Shaw

The Irish cycling duo narrowly missed out on a bronze medal, as they finished just two seconds behind Spanish pair Miguel Angel Clemente Solano and Diego Javier Munoz, with a time of 4:26.075.

However, it was still a relatively impressive performance from the Irish team under the circumstances, given that they’ve only been riding together since January.

What we learned today?

The standard this year is as high as ever

There were a number of eye-catching displays today, with several records being broken. Zheng Tao was one of China’s three gold medallists in swimming – in the men’s S6 100m backstroke, he broke Russian Igor Plotnikov’s 2004 world record.

In addition, Brazil’s Daniel Dias also broke the world record in the S5 50m freestyle.

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Storey remains the same

Cyclist Sarah Storey continued her remarkable record at the Paralympics, winning her eight gold medal today in the women’s C5 individual 3km pursuit.

Her time would even have been good enough to win her a non-disabled title. She thus secured a new world best of 3min 32.170sec.

Highlights from Team Ireland

(Ireland’s Ronan Rooney - INPHO/Jeff Crow)

  • As mentioned already, James Brown and David Shaw narrowly missed out on a bronze medal, finishing fourth in the cycling.
  • Enda Smyth set a new Irish record in the Individual C1-2-3 1km time trial, coming 16th overall and 7th of the C3 riders.
  • In table tennis, Rena McCarron Rooney, Eimear Breathnach and Philip Quinlan all lost their respective matches and now must win tomorrow to keep their Paralympic hopes alive. In addition, Ronan Rooney is out of the Men’s Singles M2 Table Tennis competition, after losing his second preliminary match 3-0 to Slovakia’s Martin Ludrovsky
  • Ellen Keane was seventh in 100m Butterfly S9 final at the Aquatics Centre. She finished with a time of 1:14.04 – a time that was 0.89 seconds off the PB she set in the morning’s heats. Meanwhile, James Scully failed to qualify for the men’s 50m Freestyle S5 final, after coming ninth in the morning’s heats.
  • And finally, Eilish Byrne is currently seventh in the Equestrian Team Test – Grade II.

Best thing we’ve read today:

There’s an interesting piece in The Guardian on Spanish swimmer Sebastián Rodríguez, who was once jailed for his association with leftwing terror attacks, before turning his life around.

Hero of the day:

South Africa’s Natalie du Toit, who won her 11th Paralympic gold today, and still expressed disappointment with her time. She also ruled out competing in Rio in four years time, thus ensuring her career ends on a high.

You said what?

Margaret Maughan, 84, recalled her starring role in the Opening ceremony, when she lit the Paralympic cauldron in London’s Olympic Stadium. She said:

“It was all timed so perfectly. I had an earpiece and it said ‘Light the flame, Margaret’. I had to listen and was a bit nervous about that. I thought I might get it wrong but it was marvellous when it actually lit.

“You could feel the heat coming off it but the torch was not hot.

“I breathed a sigh of relief.”

Medal table (as of 10.08pm, Thursday August 30th)


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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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