WEXFORD’S DARRAGH MCDONALD produced a hugely impressive display to win a Gold Medal in the 400m Freestyle final at the Aquatic Centre in the Paralympic Games this evening.
The 18-year-old beat his original PB by seven seconds, securing a time of 4:55.56, ahead of Sweden’s Anders Olsson in second (5:03.44) and Martin Whorwood of Great Britain (5:11.59), who came third.
“From this morning,” said McDonald, “ I knew I had more left in the tank, but I didn’t think there was that much. It is great, it shows how far Paralympics Swimming has come in four years.
“I said to myself before I started that I was not going to think about times. That is what I did.”
Once the job was done, however, the teenage sensation reflected on the massive forward stride he had just accomplished.
“It’s a ten second PB since this morning. I cannot believe it. It’s just great”.
McDonald is an amputee, who began swimming competitively in 2006.
He previously won 400m freestyle silver at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing and also secured two silvers (100m Freestyle and 400m Freestyle) at the IPC European Championships in 2009, in addition to a bronze at 2011’s IPC European Championships.