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"Now it's your turn" - Turner reveals teammate's words of inspiration


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Nicole Turner became Ireland's fourth medalist of the 2020 Paralympic Games with her silver in the S6 50m Butterfly. 

The Portarlington swimmer set a new personal best time of 36.30 to come home just 1.61 behind gold medalist, Yuyan Jiang of China.

Turner had been just half a second away from taking bronze in the same event in Rio five years ago, when she was just 14.

Now 19, she told reporters that her silver has helped salve the pain.

"I came into Tokyo thinking it would be a fight for bronze," Turner said, "but the girls are just so competitive out there.

"So even before the final [coaches] Dave [Malone] and Hayley [Burke] said to me there's absolutely no pressure on me - just go out and enjoy myself.

"I thought it would be a fight for bronze, but to get silver is just insane."

Just over a second separated second from sixth in the final, but Turner said she had not inkling mid-race of how tight things were.

"Everyone was saying 'did you know where the other girls were?', I had no idea where anyone was," she revealed.

"And I suppose that's the thing that's key for me, I just need to focus on myself and my stroke and it works out in the end."

Turner became Ireland's second medalist in the pool in Tokyo, and revealed the words of encouragement gold medalist Ellen Keane had for her prior to her favoured event.

"It lifts the team spirit," the teenager said of bringing another medal back to the Ireland house in the Olympic Village.

"Ellen's 100m breaststroke was her main event, and she knew my main event was still to come. And as soon as she finished, she was like, 'Now it's your turn'.

"She wasn't putting any pressure on me, but she told me I could do it, and I did it."

Staying in the aquatic centre, and Roisin Ní Riain managed to qualify for a fourth final out of five events.

The 16-year old was third in her heat of the S13 SM 200m Individual Medley and finished sixth in the final with a time of 2:34.12.

Speaking after the final, Ní Riain said, "I’m quite disappointed because my PB is 2:33 but I’ve had a lot of events and a few finals so far.

"It’s just about putting your head down and focussing each race one at a time and I have a day off tomorrow and then the 100m Breaststroke on Wednesday.”

There was a third personal best inside two events for Barry McClements on Monday.

The County Down swimmer was 7th in the final of the S9 100m Backstroke in a time of 1:05.76.

“I’m very happy, I got a big PB across the day and made a final, that’s what I’m here to do, get PB’s & show myself that what I’m doing is working." McClements said.

Philip Eaglesham opened his Tokyo 2020 campaign with a very encouraging showing in the SH2 R4 Qualifiers.

He showed great consistency by hitting the centre ring with 58 of his 60 shots. Eaglesham's final tally of 626.6 points was a new PB by a margin of 3 points in an event that provided him with valuable competition practice ahead of his favoured events later this week.

And in archery, Meath's Kerrie Leonard bowed out of the Individual Compound Open in the last 16 in her first Paralympics.

FAI confirms equal pay for men’s and women’s international sides


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Ellen Keane Nicole Turner Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020

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