Bethany Firth claims triple gold at Dublin 2018 - Day 7

jessica-jane applegate british swimming
Jessica-Jane Applegate. Photo: British Swimming

Bethany Firth claimed her third gold medal after leading Great Britain to a clean sweep of the podium positions in the SM14 200m individual medley at Dublin 2018.

Firth said her victory on the closing night of the 2018 World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships has helped reignite her passion for the sport.

Her winning time of 2:22.82 was followed by Jessica-Jane Applegate in 2:25.01 and Louise Fiddes in 2:26.49, who took the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Firth said: "I've had quite an up and down season, so going into that I decided to just focus on my own race, my own lane and just see what happened and I'm so happy with that result.

"Coming here and swimming close to my PBs has made me so happy and now I’m just looking forward to next season. I've found my hunger for winning again and I can't wait to come back and smash it again."

Firth's success was one of three gold medals for Britain on the final night of action in Ireland.

Paralympic champion Michael Jones came out on top in an enthralling battle with Israel's Mark Malyar to win gold in the S7 400m freestyle. Only 0.15 seconds separated them at the wall, with Jones touching first in 4:48.54.

"I'm really happy with that result," said Jones afterwards. "It's been a tough year especially after injuries. It shows all the work I've done to get back to this level and that it's paid off.

"After my shoulder surgery late last year it's taken time to get back in the water and I've only been doing speed work as recently as six weeks ago, so a massive thanks to the medical and support team within British Para-Swimming.

"I also have to thank British Para-Swimming for showing faith in me during injury and rehabilitation period, bringing me here as a wildcard was a bit of a gamble but hopefully they think it's paid off."

Britain's third gold came in the very last race, the women's 34pts 4x100m medley relay final. The British team of Alice Tai, Maisie Summers-Newton, Toni Shaw and Zara Mullooly won in 4:53.62, beating Spain and Denmark.

Andrew Mullen bagged a silver medal in the S5 50m butterfly in 37.28, while Ellie Robinson finished strongly in the S6 100m freestyle to claim silver in 1:13.46.

Zara Mullooly claimed bronze in the S10 100m freestyle final, missing out on silver by just 0.01 seconds against France's Elodie Lorandi, while Stephen Clegg took bronze in the S12 100m butterfly with a new PB of 57.97.

Tom Hamer thought he'd missed out on a medal after finishing fourth in the SM14 200m individual medley final, but the subsequent disqualification of runner-up Mark Evers saw the British swimmer promoted to bronze medallist.

British Para-Swimming Head Coach Rob Aubry spoke of his delight at the British squad's performance in Dublin. 

"We came into this competition with the aim of creating a learning environment and developing an opportunity for those younger athletes and also our senior athletes looking more at their second and third events," said Aubry.

"One of the main targets was to achieve a high rate of heats to finals progression and of that we've done with 93% in that area which is a great step up from previous events and games that we’ve been to.

"I'm really happy with the way that the athletes have conducted themselves, tried new things in warm-up, they've been professional from the moment they walk through the pool doors and it's a great privilege to work with a team like that."

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