Bethany Firth has landed her fifth Paralympic gold medal as she helped her Team GB to a world record performance in Tokyo.
The Newtownards swimmer was one of the four-person team – along with Reece Dunn, Jessica-Jane Applegate and Jordan Catchpole - that clocked a 3:40.63 time in the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle relay to beat second placed Australia by almost six seconds.
It adds to the three gold medals Firth won back in 2016 and one in 2012 to further decorate the star paralympian.
She has so far medalled in both of her events this year, having taken silver in the 200m Freestyle S14 event on Friday.
Firth still has two more medals to swim for with the 200m IM SM14 coming up on Tuesday and 100m Backstroke S14 on Thursday.
After Friday’s silver medal performance, Firth’s Ards Swimming Club coach Nelson Lindsay said her performance had belied preparation that was interrupted by injury and the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m delighted with Bethy’s performance. To be honest I couldn’t have dreamt of that four to six weeks ago,” he said.
“She has been going quite well the last few weeks leading up to leaving for the holding camp but with that performance she has turned her whole season around. I really didn’t think the race would be that close but as I’ve always said, Bethy rises to the occasion and is a big-stage athlete.”
In Boccia, Claire Taggart lost out 5-2 to Argentina’s Luis Cristaldo despite earning a 2-0 advantage from the first two ends.
Earlier in the day, James MacSorley’s Team GB bounced back to victory by a single points – 64-63 – in the men’s wheelchair basketball tournament. The Northern Irish ace did not feature as his side made it two wins from three games in their pool campaign.