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Rio Paralympics: Bethany Firth on top of the world with gold win

Firth breaks record twice to defend her gold in Rio

By David Kelly

Published 09/09/2016

Bethany Firth clinches gold in Rio
Bethany Firth clinches gold in Rio
Leading lady: Bethany Firth successfully defended her S14 100m backstroke gold in Rio
Great Britain's Bethany Firth (right) with her Gold medal and Great Britain's Jessica-Jane Applegate with her Bronze medal alongside Silver medalist Netherland's Marlou Van Der Kulk at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the first day of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. PA
Great Britain's Bethany Firth (right) with her Gold medal and Great Britain's Jessica-Jane Applegate with her Silver medal during the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Backstroke S14 at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the first day of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. PA
Great Britain's Bethany Firth with her Gold medal during the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Backstroke S14 at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the first day of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. PA

Bethany Firth smashed the world record twice on her way to winning back-to-back S14 100m backstroke gold medals at the Paralympics.

In the morning heats in Rio, Firth had laid down a marker when setting a new world record of 1:04.53 and in the final she went even quicker, winning in 1:04.05 ahead of Holland's Marlou van der Kulk, 1:06.33, and fellow Team GB&NI team-mate Jessica Jane Applegate, 1:08.67.

"I'm so chuffed with that but I couldn't have done it without the support of everyone back home - especially my church and my family," said Firth.

"God puts challenges in your way but shows you a path if you work hard and put your mind to it. Hopefully there's many more medals to come for the rest of the team.

"I'm so happy with that swim, but it's not just me, it's all the people that have supported me like my coaches, (Team) GB, my friends and family and my church back home. All of them have helped me to get here and I'm just so happy about that."

Firth had missed the World Championships last year due to a broken wrist but re-grouped and has been in great form since the start of the year.

"After breaking my wrist I had a lot of time away from the pool and I had to refocus myself and coming back I decided to focus more on myself and my swimming and just do what I can do," she said.

Earlier in the evening Britain's Ollie Hynd had won gold in the S8 400m freestyle. Firth added: "Seeing Ollie win the gold and break that world record really pushed me on.

"We've got a great team behind us and they're all so strong so it wouldn't surprise me if there were a lot more medals to come."

Four years ago Firth burst onto the Paralympic swimming stage when as a 16-year-old she struck gold in the S14 100m back despite injury.

Atheletes and performers enjoy fireworks during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Atheletes and performers enjoy fireworks during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - View of the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 7, 2016. Photo by Bob Martin/OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Bob Martin for OISBOB MARTIN FOR OIS/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - View of the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / TASSO MARCELOTASSO MARCELO/AFP/Getty Images
Aaron Wheelz, an extreme wheelchair athlete, goes down a MegaRamp and tears through the panel with the number zero, marking the start of the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Maracana Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: (Photo by Bob Martin for OIS via Press Association) Editorial Use Only.
Aaron Wheelz, an extreme wheelchair athlete flies through a panel with the number zero, marking the start of the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Spey. 7, 2016. (Photo Thomas Lovelock/OIS/IOC via AP)
Aaron Wheelz, an extreme wheelchair athlete, goes down a MegaRamp and tears through the panel with the number zero, marking the start of the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Maracana Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: (Photo by Al Tielemans for OIS/IOC via Press Association) Editorial Use Only.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Adria Rocha of Brazil carries the Paralympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
Wheelchair athlete Aaron Wheelz flies through a giant number zero signaling the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sept. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Atheletes and performers enjoy fireworks during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Fireworks explode behind the Metro-Mangueira favela community during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Flag bearer Juan Carlos Garrido of Chile leads the team entering the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Atheltes enjoy the performance by singer Seu Jorge during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Aaron Wheelz rides off a ramp at the beginning of the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Fireworks explode during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Clodoaldo Silva is embraced by singer Seu Jorge after lighting the cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Athletes of Team China walk into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Athletes of the Brazil delegation right before entering the stadium during Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Athletes of the Brazil delegation right before entering the stadium during Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony at Maracana Stadium on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
Brazilian judo gold medalist Rafaela Silva, carries the Paralympic torch in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue on its way for the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)
Brazilian judo gold medalist Rafaela Silva, carries the Paralympic torch in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue on its way for the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)
Brazilian judo gold medalist Rafaela Silva carries the Paralympic torch in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue on its way for the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Mauro Pimentel)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, attends to the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe writes a message on a wall during the Paralympics GB Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe writes a message on a wall during the Paralympics GB Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe poses for a photograph after writing a message on a wall during the Paralympics GB Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
General view of the message written by ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe on a wall during the Paralympics GB Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympic GB athletes including Ellie Simmonds (second left) during the Paralympics GB Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympic GB athletes, including wheelchair rugby players Jamie Stead (left), Mandip Sehmi (centre) and Alan Ash (right) during the Paralympics GB Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Union Jack Flag is prepared to be hoisted during the Paralympics GB Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers perform during the Paralympics GB Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Chef de Mission for the GB Paralympic Team Penny Briscoe hands over a gift during the Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Chef de Mission for the GB Paralympic team Penny Briscoe after the Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Paralympic GB team watch the Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Paralympic GB team watch the Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Paralympic GB team watch the Welcome Ceremony at the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB Table tennis player Will Bayley poses for a photograph inside the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB Table tennis player Will Bayley poses for a photograph inside the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB Table tennis player Will Bayley poses for a photograph inside the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB Table tennis player Will Bayley poses for a photograph inside the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB Table tennis player Will Bayley poses for a photograph inside the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB wheelchair rugby player Mandip Sehmi poses for a photograph inside the Athletes Village ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 05: People take photos in front of the Paralympic symbol, Agitos, on Copacabana beach ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 05: A woman walks in front of the Paralympic symbol, Agitos, on Copacabana beach ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 05: People take a photo in front of the Paralympic symbol, Agitos, on Copacabana beach ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 05: People take photos in front of the Paralympic symbol, Agitos, on Copacabana beach ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 05: People play in front of the Paralympic symbol, Agitos, on Copacabana beach ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 05: People gather and take photos in front of the Paralympic symbol, Agitos, on Copacabana beach ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ParalympicsGB's Tom Aggar during a training session at Lagoa Rowing Centre ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB's Tom Aggar during a training session at Lagoa Rowing Centre ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB's Tom Aggar during a training session at Lagoa Rowing Centre ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB's Tom Aggar during a training session at Lagoa Rowing Centre ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB's Tom Aggar during a training session at Lagoa Rowing Centre ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB's Tom Aggar during a training session at Lagoa Rowing Centre ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Lee Pearson with Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB's Tom Aggar during a training session at Lagoa Rowing Centre ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Lee Pearson during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
ParalympicsGB's Tom Aggar during a training session at Lagoa Rowing Centre ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Lee Pearson during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Lee Pearson with Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Lee Pearson during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Lee Pearson (left) and Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB's (left-right) Lee Pearson, Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe, CEO of ParalympicsGB Tim Hollingsworth, Ollie Hynd and Dame Sarah Storey during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dame Sarah Storey during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Lee Pearson during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB's (left-right) Lee Pearson, Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe, CEO of ParalympicsGB Tim Hollingsworth, Ollie Hynd and Dame Sarah Storey during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
CEO of ParalympicsGB Tim Hollingsworth during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Dame Sarah Storey during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dame Sarah Storey during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Paralympics GB's (left-right) Lee Pearson, Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe, CEO of ParalympicsGB Tim Hollingsworth, Ollie Hynd and Dame Sarah Storey during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Lee Pearson during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement ahead of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Equestrian rider Lee Pearson of Great Britain poses for a photo call on the beach after being chosen as Great Britain's flagbearer for the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
China's Wang Wei plays billiard at the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Al Tielemans /OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Al Tielemans for OIS/IOCAL TIELEMANS FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
China's Wang Wei plays billiard at the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Al Tielemans /OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Al Tielemans for OIS/IOCAL TIELEMANS FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Cyclists take a training ride on the track around the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Al Tielemans /OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Al Tielemans for OIS/IOCAL TIELEMANS FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Handout photo provided by The OIS/IOC of Great Britain Boccia players Patrick Wilson (left) and Jamie McCowan play a video game in the Paralympic Village, Rio. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Al Tielemans/OIS/IOC/PA Wire. NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Feng Yanke of China plays table tennis at the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOCTHOMAS LOVELOCK FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Handout photo provided by The OIS/IOC of Germany's Vanessa Low working in the gymnasium in the Paralympic Village, Rio. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Thomas Lovelock/OIS/IOC/PA Wire. NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Japan's Keita Sato, Atsushi Yamamoto, Toro Suzuki and Hajimu Ashida pose for photographers in the Paralympic Village, Rio. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday September 6, 2016. Photo credit should read: Thomas Lovelock/OIS/IOC/PA Wire. NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Australian athletes jog around the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOCTHOMAS LOVELOCK FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
An athlete jogs in the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOCTHOMAS LOVELOCK FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Vanessa Low of Germany works out in the gym at the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOCTHOMAS LOVELOCK FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Takashi Sanada of Japan works out in the gym at the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOCTHOMAS LOVELOCK FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Japanese athletes Keita Sato, Atsushi Yamamoto, Toro Suzuki and Hajimu Ashida pose for a photo in the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOCTHOMAS LOVELOCK FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Athlete wears prosthetic legs at the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Al Tielemans /OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Al Tielemans for OIS/IOCAL TIELEMANS FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Slovakian cyclists take a ride in the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Al Tielemans /OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Al Tielemans for OIS/IOCAL TIELEMANS FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
Patrick Wilson (L) and Jamie McCowan representing Great Britain in boccia play a video game in the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Al Tielemans /OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Al Tielemans for OIS/IOCAL TIELEMANS FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Swimming training session at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Swimming training session at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Swimming training session at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a cycling track training session at the Olympic Velodrome ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Swimming training session at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Swimming training session at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Swimming training session at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: In this handout photo supplied by the IOC, Athlete wears prosthetic legs in the Paralympic Village prior to the start of the Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Al Tielemans/OIS/IOC via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Swimming training session at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view during a Wheelchair Basketball training session at the Olympic Arena ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
Tomotaro Nakamura of Japan removes his swim cap with his feet while training in the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Simon Bruty for OISSIMON BRUTY FOR OIS/AFP/Getty Images
Tomotaro Nakamura of Japan trains in the Olympic Aquatics Stadium during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Simon Bruty for OISSIMON BRUTY FOR OIS/AFP/Getty Images
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 6: A general view of Paralympic Village ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
Dutch athletes stroll around the Paralympic Village during the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 6, 2016. Photo by: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC via AFP. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. / AFP PHOTO / OIS/IOC / Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOCTHOMAS LOVELOCK FOR OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Christ the Redeemer statue is lit in the colors of the Paralympic torch the night before the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Christ the Redeemer statue is lit in the colors of the Paralympic torch the night before the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with the Cantagalo 'favela' commuity in the foreground, on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Christ the Redeemer statue is lit in the the colors of the Paralympic torch the night before the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Christ the Redeemer statue is lit in the colors of the Paralympic torch the night before the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with the Cantagalo 'favela' commuity in the foreground, on September 6, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Press gathers at the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, at the Paralympic Mural Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Members of the IPC Governing Board at the Paralympic Mural Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, at the Paralympic Mural Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Breno Viola, brazilian judo athlete and Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeior mayor, at the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, attends to the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, and Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro City Mayor at the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President; Leonardo Picciani, brazilian minister of sports; Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro mayor; and Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Brazilian Olympic Comitee President; attend to the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President; Leonardo Picciani, brazilian minister of sports; Eduardo Paes, Rio de Janeiro mayor; and Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Brazilian Olympic Comitee President; attend to the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Wilfried Lemke, United Nations Secretary General Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, at the Paralympic Mural Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Breno Viola, brazilian judo athlete, lights up the flame at the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Breno Viola, brazilian judo athlete, lights up the flame at the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President, attends to the Paralympic Flame Ceremony on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 06: Sir Philip Craven, IPC President at the Paralympic Village on September 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Raphael Dias/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee)
File photo dated 30-06-2016 of Rachel Morris. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Rachel Morris cannot shake the cycling bug, but she believes it has complemented her bid for rowing glory at the Rio Paralympics. See PA story PARALYMPICS Morris. Photo credit should read Alex Morton/PA Wire.
File photo dated 06-09-2016 of Lee Pearson during the ParalympicsGB Flagbearer announcement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. The XV Paralympic Games open in Rio on Wednesday night with 10-time gold medallist Lee Pearson leading Great Britain into a full to capacity Maracana Stadium. See PA story PARALYMPICS Rio. Photo credit should read Adam Davy/PA Wire.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Rio2016 workers celebrate after the 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay ended at Copacabana beach before its final stop at Maracana Stadium tonight for Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many of the workers had been following the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays for four months and this was their last stop on the route. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Rio2016 workers celebrate after the 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay ended at Copacabana beach before its final stop at Maracana Stadium tonight for Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many of the workers had been following the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays for four months and this was their last stop on the route. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: A torch bearer walks during the 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay along Copacabana beach before tonight's Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: Rio2016 workers celebrate after the 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay ended at Copacabana beach before its final stop at Maracana Stadium tonight for Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many of the workers had been following the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays for four months and this was their last stop on the route. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: A torch bearer carries the Paralympic flame during the 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay along Ipanema beach before tonight's Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: A torch bearer carries the Paralympic flame during the 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay along Ipanema beach before tonight's Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: A torch bearer carries the Paralympic flame during the 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay along Ipanema beach before tonight's Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: A torch bearer carries the Paralympic flame during the 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay along Ipanema beach before tonight's Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 07: A torch bearer poses in front of the Paralympic symbol, Agitos, during 2016 Paralympic Torch Relay along Copacabana beach before tonight's Opening Ceremonies on September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
People make their way to the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games at the Maracana, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
People make their way to the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games at the Maracana, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 7, 2016. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The Seaforde woman had gone to London on the back of working around a serious shoulder problem, which meant she could only enter one event, but in Rio she is bidding for medals in three further disciplines - the 200m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley. Next up is the freestyle on Sunday.

Firth walked into the Ards club as a 13-year-old with a natural talent for the pool and that has been finely honed by coaches Nelson Lindsay and Davy Johnston.

Lindsay said: "She is a naturally talented athlete who would be good at any sport she turned her hand to. I'm just glad that she chose swimming. Normally late starters have difficulty learning all the skills, but Bethy's managed them really well."

Lindsay was in the arena last night as one of the Team GB coaches, while Johnston, along with Firth's Ards team-mates, was at home watching on television.

Coach Johnston described her performance as one that was "perfectly executed".

A beautiful start set her apart from the rest of the field and at the 50m mark there was only ever going to be one winner.

Johnston added: "That was a brilliant performance from Bethany - we're all so proud of her.

"The most encouraging thing for me is that she looks so relaxed and I would say that has a lot to do with the fact that Nelson is with her in Rio.

"There was a lot of expectation on her shoulders and she has dealt with it very well.

"To break the world record by a total of three and a half seconds in one day is just fantastic. Nobody deserves it more because at training she is the first one there and the last to leave. She's the captain of our whole club and we couldn't ask for a better role model.

"She's an inspiration to every one of the other 170 swimmers at the club and I believe she will go on and medal again.

"You can see how strong she is now in the water and that's a credit to the help she has received from SINI and funding from British swimming."

Belfast Telegraph

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