CYCLING DUO JAMES Brown and David Shaw narrowly missed out on Ireland’s first medal of the 2012 Paralympics when they finished an agonizing fourth in the paracycling individual pursuit B competition at the Velodrome.
Brown and Shaw were the fourth fastest qualifiers in this morning’s session, setting up a bronze medal showdown against the Spanish team of Miguel Angel Clemente Solano and Diego Javier Munoz.
Although the Irish team held a slender lead with 1,000m to go, it was Solano and Munoz who had the greater stamina at the death and got up to win in a time of 4:24.015.
Brown and Shaw finished two seconds back in 4:26.075, a commendable result for two athletes who have only been riding together since January.
“We will improve with more time together,” Brown said afterwards. “We are racing against full-time professional bike riders whilst holding down a business and jobs. If we get a chance to spend more time training together on a full-time basis we will no doubt build on these results.”
Hopes of a first Irish medal on the opening day now rest with Ellen Keane who goes in the 100m butterfly final at 7.30pm this evening.
In the Men’s Individual C1-2-3 1km time trial Enda Smyth set a new Irish record, showing that a broken elbow sustained two months ago had not hampered his preparation too badly as he shaved two seconds off his previous best.
Smyth’s time of 1:13.890 was enough for 16th place overall and seventh of the C3 riders. China’s Zhang Yu Li won in a world record time of 1:05.021.
Over at the ExCeL Arena, there was disappointment as three of Ireland’s table tennis team opened their singles preliminary round with defeats. Rena McCarron Rooney, Eimear Breathnach and Philip Quinlan will all now need wins tomorrow to keep their hopes of progressing alive.
“They are all now looking at having to win their matches tomorrow by a score of 3-0 to stand any chance of progressing in the singles,” team coach Michael Cunningham said afterwards.
“That is the difference at the highest level. One bad shot selection can change the course of a match. It just didn’t go our way today.”
Individual Pursuit B Bronze Medal Ride-off
Medal Winners: 1 K Modra & S McPhee (AUS) 4:17.756, 2. B Lindores & S Finning 4:22.269 (AUS), 3. MA Clemente Solano & DJ Munoz (SPA) 4:24.015. 4. James Brown & Damien Shaw (IRL) 4:26.075
Individual 1km Time Trial C1-3
Medal Winners: 1. Y LI Zhang (CHN) 1:05.021, 2 ML Colbourne 1:08.471, 3 T Graf 1:09.979 16. Enda Smyth (IRL) 1:13.890
Individual Pursuit B Qualifiers
Qualifiers: 1 K Modra & S McPhee (AUS) 4:18.752, 2. B Lindores & S Finning 4:21.219 (AUS), 3. MA Clemente Solano & DJ Munoz (SPA) 4:24.539. 4. James Brown & Damien Shaw 4:25.557
Women’s Singles F1-2 Preliminaries
P Pezzutto (ITA) bt Eimear Breathnach (IRL) 11-3, 11-7, 11-8
I Lafaye Marziou (FRA) bt Rena McCarron Rooney (IRL) 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8
Men’s Singles M1 Preliminaries
JF Ducay (FRA) bt Philip Quinlan (IRL) 11-7, 11-3, 11-9
Men’s Singles M2 Preliminaries
V Boury (FRA) bt Ronan Rooney (IRL) 11-2, 11-2, 11-3
Equestrian Team Test – Grade II (22 of 23 riders)
Ranking: 1. N Baker (GBR) 76.095, 2. B Napel (GER) 72.571, 3. L Barwick (CAN) 72.095, 7. Eilish Byrne (IRL) 67.714
Women’s 100m Butterfly S9 Heats
Qualifiers: 1. N du Toit (RSA) 1:09.94, 2. E Stone (USA) 1:11.19, 3. S Gascon (SPA) 1:11.45, 5. Ellen Keane (IRL) 1:13.15
Men’s 50m Freestyle S5 Heats
Qualifiers: 1. D Dias (BRA) 33.02, 2. S Rodriguez (SPA) 33.80, 3. R Perkins (USA) 34.16,
9. James Scully (IRL) 38.18 [8 to qualify]