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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

Swimmer Ellen Keane secures Team Ireland’s first gold medal of the Paralympics


By Sarah Finnan
26th Aug 2021

Portrait by Lee Malone

Swimmer Ellen Keane secures Team Ireland’s first gold medal of the Paralympics

Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane has won Team Ireland’s first gold medal of the Paralympic Games this year.

Only the second day of competition over in the Japanese capital and Team Ireland has already secured a gold medal win courtesy of Paralympic swimmer Ellen Keane. 

Team Ireland’s first gold medal of the Paralympic Games so far, Keane competed in the SB8 100m breaststroke final this morning. Finishing her heat with a time of 1:21.71, it was a personal best for the elite athlete.

“The heat was fun, I just wanted to get in and swim fast and that’s what I did. Tonight though the girls that I swim against are world class so anything can happen tonight in the final,” she said.

She didn’t let the pressure phase her though and Keane impressed yet again in the final, managing to shave a further two seconds off her PB time (1:19.93), and give the performance of her life as she swam her way to victory in Tokyo’s Olympic pool earlier today.

Hailing from Clontarf in Co Dublin, this year marks the 26-year-old’s fourth time competing at the Paralympic Games, who last won a bronze medal at Rio 2016. Tailing New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe before overtaking her at the turn to take home the gold, Pascoe finished in second place while Adelina Razetdinova from Russia clinched the bronze. 

Meanwhile, fellow Team Ireland athlete and first-time Paralympian Róisín Ní Riain also had her own personal best this morning after competing in the S13 100m backstroke. Breezing through her heat, she advanced to the final where competed against some of the world’s fastest swimmers – ultimately finishing in sixth place.

Portrait by Lee Malone from the November 2019 issue of IMAGE Magazine