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Monday, October 3, 2022

Commonwealth Games: Barry McClements wins Northern Ireland’s first Games swimming medal

Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV with extra streams on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport mobile app; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra; live text and clips online.

Barry McClements clinched Northern Ireland’s first ever swimming medal at the Commonwealth Games with a stunning bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke S9.

The Ards Para-swimmer clocked 1:05.09 to hold off Australia’s Harrison Vig and take third.

Timothy Hodge took gold with New Zealand’s Jesse Reynolds in second.

Earlier, Northern Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen missed out on bronze in the men’s 400m freestyle final by an agonising 0.13 seconds.

World champion Elijah Winnington led home an Australian one-two-three with a time of 3:43.06.

Sam Short took silver with Mack Horton winning bronze to claim his seventh Commonwealth medal.

England’s Luke Turley came fifth with Welshman Daniel Jervis in eighth.

McClements makes history

McClements made his Paralympic debut for Ireland at last year’s rescheduled Tokyo Games, and looked to carry the experience gained into his Commonwealth campaign.

He produced a fast start in Birmingham and was narrowly third at the turn with Australian Vig gaining ground on him going down the stretch, but not enough to stop McClements claiming a sensational bronze.

“Me and Daniel Wiffen were having a bit of a joke to see who would do it (win a medal) first,” McClements joked.

“To be the first is just awesome. That last 15m I could see (Vig) catching me and I was thinking ‘just hang on, just hang on’.

“I knew roughly if I beat him I’d be in with a good shot so I just tried to hang on.”

Wiffen set a new Irish and Northern Irish men’s 400m freestyle record twice on Friday in Birmingham

Despite the disappointment of missing out on the podium, it was another excellent swim from Wiffen, who shaved nearly a second off the Irish record he set in qualifying on Friday morning.

The Armagh man clocked 3:46.62 but could not get to the wall ahead of defending champion Horton, although his strong showing does bode well for his favoured 1500m freestyle event on Tuesday.

Catterson eighth in women’s 200m freestyle

Wiffen’s compatriot Victoria Catterson was also back in the pool on Friday evening, having broken Michelle de Bruin’s 25-year-old Irish women’s 200m freestyle record in qualifying.

Having swum 1:59.86 in the morning, the Belfast native, 21, was forced to settle for eighth in the final as she clocked 2:00.65.

Grace Davison was sixth in the same heat in 2:10.00 but did not make the final while Kaitlin McCaw exited from the women’s 100m butterfly after finishing seventh in her heat.

Northern Ireland’s multiple Paralympic gold medallist Bethany Firth was also in action on the opening day of competition at the Sandwell Aquatic Centre.

Firth finished sixth in heat three of the women’s 200m freestyle in 2:08.34, but her best chance of success will come in the Para-swimming version of the same event later at the Birmingham Games.

Source: BBC

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