McDonald fourth in S6 100m freestyle final
Updated: Saturday, 08 Sep 2012 21:09
Darragh McDonald came agonisingly close to a second medal this evening on the final day of action at the Paralympic Games.
The 18-year old won gold in the S6 400m freestyle last Saturday and this morning qualified as the second fastest qualifier for the final of the S6 100m freestyle when he finished in 1:10.59.
But even with a 1.5 second personal best, McDonald was touched out by the 50m gold medallist Qing Xu, who set a new Paralympic record of 1:05.82 to take gold.
The Wexfordman finished in 1:08.92, just .91 outside the bronze medal position won by Cuba’s Lorenzo Perez Escalona in 1:08.01.
Speaking after the race, McDonald commented: "I’m happy with the PB.
"It was a good race, the field was very strong, the lads that won deserved to win, they are very strong competitors and I have no regrets, I gave it my all."
On missing out on the bronze medal, the man from Wexford said: "On one hand I’m disappointed I didn’t medal, but on the other, I’m half glad because it will spur me on and create a new level of determination for continuing on."
Nineteen-year-old James Scully also bettered his personal best set earlier this morning when he finished seventh in the S5 100m freestyle final.
Scully’s time of 1:21.89 was almost three seconds faster than his best coming into the Games. He has now had a fifth-, seventh-, ninth- and 13th-place finish at his first Paralympic Games.
Speaking about the overall Games experience, Scully said: "It’s been unreal; I’ve never experienced anything like this before.
"It’s been the best experience of my life; its great being able to swim well in this environment."
Meanwhile, Ellen Keane was unable to book a place in the final of the SB9 women's 100m breaststroke .
Keane was fourth in her heat, finishing in a time of 1:22.97, and while that was a personal best, it wasn't enough for her to progress.