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Paralympic Games: James MacSorley helps Team GB to bronze in wheelchair basketball as three Northern Irish stars win medals in Tokyo

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James MacSorley leads the celebrations as Team GB won the bronze medal with victory over Spain. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

James MacSorley leads the celebrations as Team GB won the bronze medal with victory over Spain. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Getty Images

James MacSorley leads the celebrations as Team GB won the bronze medal with victory over Spain. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

James MacSorley has become the third Northern Irish competitor to win a medal at this summer's Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The Belfast man helped Team GB beat Spain 68-58 in the men's wheelchair basketball bronze medal match.

MacSorley came off the bench during the closing-day victory that tempered the disappointment of Friday's semi-final defeat to hosts and eventual runners-up Japan, who lost out 64-60 to the USA in the final.

The win means Team GB have scooped the bronze in four of the last five Paralympic Games but will ultimately have aimed for better, having won the World Championship title back in 2018.

While not a regular starter, MacSorley played his part as a replacement in five of his side's eight matches at the Games, including scoring two points in the opening group stage win over Algeria.

MacSorley adds to the medals already won by fellow Northern Irish competitors Bethany Firth and Jason Smyth.

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Seaforde swimmer Firth took her overall Paralympic medal tally to nine after winning a third successive gold in the S14 women's 100m backstroke, also topping the podium as part of Team GB's S14 mixed 4x100m freestyle effort and earning silvers in both the S14 women's 200m freestyle and the SM14 women's 200m individual medley.

Londonderry sprinter Jason Smyth, competing for Ireland, won his sixth Paralympic gold and a fourth consecutive T13 men's 100m crown by edging Algeria's Skander Djamil Athmani by 0.01 seconds.

In all, there were seven stars from Northern Ireland competing.

Four-time Paralympic gold medalist Michael McKillop finished a disappointing eighth in the T38 men's 1500m final and went on to reveal it would be his last appearance at the Paralympic Games.

Bethany Firth's Ards Swimming Club team-mate Barry McClements, tipped for a big future, made his Paralympic Games debut and finished seventh in the S9 men’s 100m backstroke with personal best times in both the heats and the final. He also swam a new PB in the S9 men’s 400m freestyle but missed out on a place in the final by less than a second. He came within 0.66 seconds of a place in the S9 men’s 100 butterfly final and missed out on the SM9 200m individual medley final by just over three seconds.

In boccia, Larne's Claire Taggart competing in both the BC2 individual and BC1/BC2 team event for Great Britain, helping her side to a 6-4 win over Argentina although ultimately not making it out of the group stage in either competition.

Dungannon shooter Phil Eaglesham, competing for Ireland, ranked 14th in the SH2 mixed 10m air rifle standing, 15th in the SH2 mixed 50m rifle prone and 21st in the SH2 mixed 10m air rifle prone.


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