Bethany Firth: Paralympic star impresses at Irish Championships

Swimmer Bethany Firth
Bethany Firth was just 16 when she won Paralympic gold in London

Paralympic champion Bethany Firth brought up her haul of individual titles at the Irish Short Course Championships to four on Sunday.

After her earlier triumphs in the 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle and 100m individual medley, Firth, 19, won the 50m butterfly in Lisburn on Sunday.

Firth also helped Ards complete a clean sweep of women's relay titles.

Rachel Bethel won the women's 200m freestyle in her home pool as she edged out Mary-Kate McDowell of Ards.

The Ards men also set a new national record as they defeated favourites UCD in the 4x50m freestyle relay.

On Saturday, Firth's Ards team-mates James Brown and Emma Reid clinched gold medals in the 200m butterfly and 100m butterfly.

Larne swimmer Conor Ferguson won the 50m backstroke title on Saturday and triumphing in the 200m backstroke on Friday.

Firth, who won a 100m backstroke title at the London Paralympics in 2012, won the 50m freestyle event in 26.30 seconds and the 100m individual medley in 1:03.51.

Larne swimmer Conor Ferguson
Conor Ferguson earned backstroke gold medals at the Lisburn championships

The Paralympic star also helped Ards set a new Irish record of 3:49.60 in the 4x100m freestyle relay along with the Reid sisters Emma and Rebecca plus Mary Kate McDowell.

Brown (2:02.15) pipped his Ards team-mate Curtis Coulter (2;02.30) to win the men's 200m butterfly gold with Ferguson winning the 50m backstroke title in 24.94.

Emma Reid won the women's 100m butterfly title in 1:01.75 while Larne swimmer Danielle Hill bettered Aisling Cooney's eight-year-old Irish junior 200m backstroke record as she took gold in 2:12.03.

Hill's swim cut .76 off Cooney's 2007 mark.

Longford youngster Gerry Quinn set a new Irish junior 100m freestyle record as he edged out previous record holder Coulter to take gold.

Quinn won in 49.22, cutting .12 off Coulter's 2013 mark, with the Ards man having to be content to take second in 49.92.

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