Friday, September 9, 2016

Bronze for Mullen on Opening Day of Paralympic Games

“It’s always been a goal of mine since I was young to win a Parlympic medal, so I’m very pleased, it feels special." Andy Mullen

The ParalympicsGB team enjoyed a very successful opening night in the pool at the Rio Paralympic Games, coming away with seven medals:  2 golds, 2 silvers and 3 bronze.

Scottish interest was in the form of Andy Mullen competing in the first of several events, the 200m freestyle (S5). Mullen (Ren 96) put in a steady heat posting a time of 2:43.20 somewhat off his season’s best. The final, however, was a different story.

Coming out onto the pool deck Mullen looked focused. He started strongly and didn’t let the early pace of local hero, Daniel Dias (BRA), distract him. Dias effectively had the race one by the half way mark; the real race was for silver and bronze.

Having won the heat, Roy Perkins knew he had it in him to beat Mullen to the silver medal and the American athlete pulled away and did just that, touching home in 2:38.56. Mullen finished with the bronze medal in 2:40.65, a new British Record. Dias’ winning time was 2:27.88.

After the race Mullen was delighted and said,

“It’s always been a goal of mine since I was young to win a Parlympic medal, so I’m very pleased, it feels special.

“It’s a fantastic setting and it’s one of the best pools I’ve raced in. The atmosphere was unbelievable and it was great to be part of that final.”

Speaking about his Brazilian rival, Daniel Dias, Mullen said,

“I’ve so much respect for Daniel Dias. We had London so I guess this is his moment to shine in front of his home crowd.”

In other finals, Ollie Hynd won Gold in the 400m freestyle (S8) setting a new world record, while Josef Craig finished 6th. Stephanie Millward won Bronze in the 400m free (S8).

Harriet Lee won Silver in the 100m breaststroke (SB9) while Bethany Firth set a new world record on her way to Gold in the 100m backstroke (S14) with Jessica-Jane Applegate winning bronze in the same final.

Jonathan Fox won Silver in the 100m backstroke (S7).