Day ten of the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro saw Scots contribute a silver and two bronze to the ParalympicsGB medal tally.
Abby Kane from Largs, the youngest member of ParalympicsGB team at just 13, was the fastest qualifier for the S13 100m Backstroke final, with a time of 1:09.09 in her heat, a new Paralympic Record and a two second personal best.
Abby started the final strongly but Ukraine’s Anna Stetsenko, used her strength and experience to good effect to take the lead after the turn. Stetsenko powered home to take the gold in 1:08.30, a new Paralympic Record. Abby finished second in 1:09.30 for the silver medal while Australia’s Katja Dedekind took bronze in 1:12.25.
Following the race, Abby said,
“I don’t know how I feel, I’m speechless but so, so happy. I didn’t even expect to get to Rio let alone medal; it’s a lot to take in”
“I’ve loved being part of ParalympicsGB and have got on really well with everyone on the swimming team. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve got to know people here that my brother (Fraser) knew when he competed so that’s been really special.”
Next into the pool was Glasgow’s Andrew Mullen in the S5 100m Freestyle final, an event he won gold at in Funchal earlier in the year at the IPC Swimming European Championships. Andrew was up against familiar rivals in Brazil’s Daniel Dias and Roy Perkins from the USA but he flew off the blocks and again had a superb under water phase. Mullen already had 50m Backstroke silver and 200m Freestyle bronze to his name from Rio and finished the race in 1:15.93 to add a second bronze to his Rio collection.
“I’m super pleased with that, it’s been a fantastic Games for me. Coming into this meet, I had no Paralympic medals and now I’ve got three”.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to be a Paralympic medallist, so now I’m looking to build on this in the future”.
“I think coming fourth at London was good for me, I was only young and I was able to learn a lot from it, and I think the experience I’ve been able to accumulate over the four years since has enabled me to stand on the biggest stage.”
Dunbar’s Maria Lyle has come of age at the Paralympic Games as she clinched her third medal with bronze in the T35 200m in Rio. Maria, who won silver and bronze in the 4x100m relay and 100m respectively set a new season’s best of 29.35, crossing the line over three seconds quicker than Italy’s Oxana Corso in fourth. The gold medal was taken by China’s Zhou Xia, who set a new world record of 28.22 secs, with Australian world champion Isis Holt taking silver.
“I liked doing the lap of honour because I didn’t do it after the 100m. It was a season’s best, which I am chuffed about”.
“Its brilliant to have won three medals at my first Paralympic Games. I couldn’t compete with the Chinese girl so I just needed to do my best. I’ve had a really good games considering I haven’t had the best preparations.”
Earlier in the day, Sammi Kinghorn smashed through her personal best to finish third in her T53 800m heat and qualify third fastest for the final. Sammi crossed the line in 1:48.89, just 0.52 seconds off the new Paralympic record set by China’s Zhou Hongzhuan in the same heat.
In the final, Sammi put in a spirited performance to finish 6th in a time of 1:49.51 in what was her third final in Rio with the gold going to Zhou Hongzhuan in a world record 1:47.45.
Despite a final group match victory over host nation Brazil by 52-32, GB were not able to make the semi-finals and instead faced a difficult 5th/6th play-off match against Sweden. GB and Glasgow’s Michael Kerr, secured their 5th place with a comfortable victory over the Swedes.
The first quarter was a close affair but coach Paul Shaw’s side then started to open up an advantage and were good value for their 56-42 victory. Despite failing short of their target of a first-ever medal at the Games, GB can still look back on this campaign with pride.
They lost to Games finalists Australia by just two points and were edged out in overtime by top seeds Canada, who lost to the United States in their semi-final. Fifth is a repeat of their performance at London 2012 but this team won last year’s European Championships in Finland and there is plenty of young talent that learn from their time in Rio and take this forward to Tokyo 2020.
Former SDS Academy athlete, Steve Bate and guide Adam Duggleby added a third cycling medal of the day with bronze in the Men’s Tandem B Road Race.
The addition of the silver medal for Abby Kane and the bronze medals for Maria Lyle and Andrew Mullen brings the Scottish Medal Tally within the ParalympicsGB team to five gold, eight silver and four bronze.