Double Paralympics finalist Nicole Turner returns to the swimming pool in Rio de Janeiro today (Monday, September 12) as she swims in the heats of the SM6 200m Individual Medley at 3.30pm.
It will be her fifth race of these Paralympics to-date and should Nicole be successful in her bid to qualify for her third final, she will be in action again later tonight at 11.39pm.
14-year-old Nicole, the youngest member of Team Ireland, finished in seventh place in the S6 50m Freestyle Final on Saturday night at the Rio Aquatic Centre. She swam an impressive 36.31 seconds, just five hundredths of a second shy of her best ever time.
While on Friday, Nicole finished fifth in the S6 50m Butterfly Final in new personal best time of 37.31 seconds. Swimming from Lane 6, Nicole looked very strong throughout but missed out on the medal by just 0.5 of a second.
Nicole, who had a rest day on Sunday, is enjoying her debut Paralympics Games experience and she is looking forward to her four remaining events, beginning with this afternoon’s race.
Speaking after the 50m Freestyle Final, she said, “I’m really happy, it’s better than this morning, I performed to my best and I got what I wanted out of it.
“Yesterday I was a bit nervous because I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m getting into things now, so it makes it easier.
“I still have the 200 IM, 100m Breaststroke and 100m and 400m Freestyle to come so hopefully I can get as close as I can to PB’s on them too.”
Nicole’s dad, Jason, is the warehouse manager at C&D Foods in Edgeworthstown and he, along with mum Bernie, have been cheering on their daughter, who has captured the hearts of the Irish nation with her infectious smile and great performances, from poolside at Rio.
While employees of C & D, who held a number of fundraisers for Nicole ahead of the Paralympics, have been watching her races on TV screens across Longford and beyond.
Nicole’s mum Bernie tweeted “so proud of our Nicole, I could burst!!”
Meanwhile, RTÉ’s TV coverage of the Paralympics is being co-presented by a familiar face to Longford viewers. Daraine Mulvihill, whose father Liam - former Director General of the GAA - is a native of Kenagh, is presenting the show alongside Joanne Cantwell.