Dublin 2018: Ellen Keane the local hope

Paralympic bronze medallist targets first continental medal

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Ellen Keane is targeting her first continental medal when she competes at her home World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships in Dublin, Ireland.

The 23-year-old will compete in the women’s 100m backstroke S9 on 16 August, a day after making her debut in the 100m butterfly S9. Spain’s Paralympic champion Nuria Marques Soto will start as strong favourite in both events, but Keane has a good chance to challenge her.

The Irish swimmer will then swim in the 200m individual medley SM9 on day five before rounding off her performance in the 100m breaststroke SB8. It was in the latter that she took her maiden Paralympic medal, a bronze at Rio 2016.

“Winning bronze in Rio was like just the beginning for me and I felt like it was my first real Games. The first Games that I felt I was properly prepared for. So I’m really excited for the Europeans this year, the World Championships next year and then on to Tokyo [2020 Paralympic Games].”

More Irish swimmers in action

Patrick Flanagan will swim the men’s 100m backstroke S6 and Nicole Turner will take part in the women’s equivalent.

Barry McClements will compete in the men’s 100m backstroke S9, while Jonathan McGrath is set to participate in the men’s 100m backstroke S8. Ailbhe Kelly will swim the women’s equivalent.

Ones to watch on day four

Belarus’ most decorated Paralympian Ihar Boki seeks to win gold in the men’s 400m freestyle S11.

The women’s 50m freestyle S10 will be another thrilling race with a Dutch duel between Rio 2016 bronze medallist Chantalle Zijderveld and Paralympic champion Lisa Kruger.

Dublin 2018 is Ireland’s first major Para sport event and will gather 400 athletes from 37 countries who will compete at the 2,500-seater National Aquatics Centre.

Visit the Paralympics Ireland website to buy tickets for the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships.