Ireland’s Ailbhe Kelly admitted that she was "disappointed" after finishing sixth and last in her heat of the S8 100m backstroke at the Paralympic Games in Rio.

The Dubliner failed to recover from a sluggish start at the the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.

Kelly clocked one minute 29.48 seconds, while 17-year-old Lakeisha Patterson reeled in Australian compatriot Maddison Elliott to win the heat in 1:20.32.

Mallory Weggemann of the United States finished third.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Kelly said: "I’m probably a little bit disappointed, to be honest

"All of the sprints I did in the warm-up, I probably should have gone a bit faster.

"Having said that, it is my first Paralympic Games. The coaches have told me they just want me to gain some experience here and in four years’ time, you’ll be able to compete better.

"And I definitely think I have gained a lot of experience from it, but I was expecting to go faster than that.

"I’ve really enjoyed it. I love swimming, I love competing, so being able to do it at this level is such an honour."

Kelly dwelt leaving the blocks and trailed throughout, while Elliott led Patterson by 0.66 at the turn, with the latter finishing strongly to overhaul her team-mate.  

American Jessica Long won the first of the heats in 1:18.92, but tonight’s final appears to be at the mercy Stephanie Millward after the British competitor set a new Paralympic record of 1:13.75.