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Bethany Firth continues incredible run by claiming fourth World Para-swimming title in Madeira


Bethany Firth

Bethany Firth

Bethany Firth

Bethany Firth continued her staggering record of winning a medal in every international final she has competed in as she won her fourth gold at the World Para-swimming Championships in Madeira.

The Seaforde woman claimed the victory in the S14 200m individual medley race on Thursday to add to her incredible record, which already has her as Northern Ireland’s most successful Paralympic athlete.

She had duelled with Great Britain team-mates Jessica-Jane Applegate and Louise Fiddes throughout the race, but it would be Firth who would touch up first in 2:26.69, with Applegate claiming silver 3.5 seconds behind and Fiddes taking bronze down 5.41 seconds.

Firth, who won the S14 200m freestyle earlier in the week, said: "We keep pushing each other and always trying to get there on top – and I think it shows in our racing how much we really do push each other on."

Applegate had held the early lead but Firth demonstrated her dominance in the breaststroke leg as she pulled away and she wouldn’t be caught by her team-mates down the stretch to secure top spot.

It was an impressive swim by Fiddes, who battled to the end to hold off Australia’s Paige Leonhart to the touch by just 0.07 seconds and round out an all-GB podium.

It was an impressive day for Great Britain’s swimmers as a whole in Portugal as, in addition to Firth, Applegate and Fiddes, Grace Harvey and Toni Shaw also won gold.

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Harvey won the SB5 100m breaststroke race while setting a British record for her third medal of the week, while Shaw claimed her first World title in the S9 400m freestyle by 0.14 seconds.

There were also silvers for Ellie Challis in the S3 50m freestyle and both Hannah Russell and Stephen Clegg in the women’s and men’s S12 100m freestyle races respectively.

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