Ellen Keane has won GOLD in the 100m breaststroke SB8. Keane produced her best performance on the grandest stage.
Keane, a bronze medallist in the same event five years ago, swam the race of her life as she smashed her personal best to edge out New Zealander Sophie Pascoe by 0.39s to win in an incredible time of 1:19.93. Keane’s time was more than two seconds faster than her heat which also saw her set a new PB.
Keane represented Ireland at her very first Paralympics in Beijing 2008 where she became the youngest ever Irish athlete to compete at the Games, aged just 13-years old. Four years later, the Clontarf swimmer won bronze in the SB8 100m Breaststroke in Rio 2016. She has now gone two steps further as she has finally got the gold medal she has craved.
The final played out in a similar fashion to the heat. Nine-time Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Pascoe got off to the faster start and touched the halfway mark in first place, 0.27s ahead of Ireland’s Ellen Keane. It was however on the turn where Keane clawed her way back as the pair went tit-for-tat with 25M to go.
The Clontarf swimmer was not letting the opportunity pass her by as she found a new gear and overtook Pasco and touch home first to claim gold.
“I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet,” she told RTÉ Sport. “When I dove in my goggles filled up with water but I think that was maybe a good thing because I couldn’t see where the girls were around me.
“Just on the turn I saw Sophie a little bit but I just had a gameplan in mind and I stuck to that.”
🥇 @keane_ellen waiting for her gold medal performance to sink in, but gives a great assessment of personal best race, which was achieved despite goggles full of water! #Paralympics #rtesport— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 26, 2021
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