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Northern Ireland's Bethany Firth wins silver at World Para Swimming Championships

Bethany Firth at the World Para Swimming Chamionships in London
Bethany Firth at the World Para Swimming Chamionships in London

By Ella Jerman

Northern Ireland's Bethany Firth felt relieved to finish second in the 200m medley at the World Para Swimming Championships on Saturday after an old injury returned to haunt her.

Firth, who recovered from a long-term shoulder injury to represent Great Britain at the London Aquatics Centre this week, battled through returning pain to touch the wall in 2.:23.04 to win silver – her third medal of the event.

Four-time Paralympic gold medallist Firth finished over four seconds behind Valeriia Shabalina of Russia in first place and while winning another World gold in Stratford would have been special for the 23-year-old, she was relieved she was even able to compete.

“My injury started to come back after this morning so I was so happy to even be in the final, let alone come away with a silver medal,” said Firth.

“I’m so happy with that swim. I couldn’t ask for more.

“I was really happy with my heat time so going past that in the final made me really happy.”

The return of her injury may have dampened her spirits but Firth, who claimed her first-ever World Championship gold with victory in the 100m backstroke on Tuesday before winning another in the freestyle relay, knows she will look back fondly on the home event.

“It’s been a great week not only for me, but for Great Britain as a whole,” added Firth.

“We’ve had so many younger swimmers here and I’m really hoping they have been inspired to continue succeeding by this event.

“I’ve really enjoyed my experience here and I’m looking forward to building ahead of Tokyo 2020.”

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