A delighted Nicole Turner with her silver medal.
OFFALY swimmer Nicole Turner has captured a silver medal in the Paralympics in Tokyo. Turner, from Garryhinch, Portarlington, took silver in her favourite event, the S6 50 metre butterfly on Monday morning.
She finished a brilliant second to the world record holder, China's Yuyan Jiang, posting a time of 36.30. She had also finished second to Jiang in her heat.
Having finished fourth in this event in the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics in 2016, Turner had set her sights on a medal here and was thrilled to win silver.
A delighted Turner told RTE Sport afterwards: "It hasn't sunk in at all. Looking back on Rio, being so close to that bronze medal, the aim was to get on the podium in Tokyo. I never in a million years thought it would be silver. I always thought it would be a fight for bronze.”
On Saturday, Turner finished seventh finish in the 100m breaststroke (SB6) final. It was Ireland's fourth medal of the games with swimmer Ellen Keane and sprinter Jason Smyth winning gold medals while cycling duo Katie George Donlevy and Eve McCrystal took silver.
Keane has Offaly connections as her father Eddie is a native of Crinkle, Birr. Smyth is part of a strong athletics team whose manager is former Olympian, Screggan man James Nolan.
As expected Jiang took control of the race from an early stage and had her hands on gold from a good bit out but Turner swam brilliantly, got into the silver medal position around the half way mark and powered home to retain her position.
Nineteen years of age, Turner has developed into an outstanding Paralympics swimmer and she competed in her the 2016 Paralympics in Rio De Janeiro five years ago. That event was all about learning for a very young Turner and she showed her rich promise as she competed in five events and made five finals. Her best placing was fifth in the 50 metres butterfly and she set personal bests in six out of her ten races.
Now she has achieved her dreams by winning a medal.
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