Scully Closes out Paralympic Swimming European Championships with Season’s Best 50m Backstroke

There was just one Irish swimmer in action on the final night of swimming at the Paralympic European Championships in Eindhoven, Holland. James Scully put in an impressive performance to close out the competition for Ireland’s five senior Paralympic swimmers.

Swimming in the Final of the 50m Backstroke S5 Scully swam a season’s best 46.50 seconds  to finish in 7th place overall. Great Britain’s Andrew Mullen picked up his fourth Gold medal of the championships winning the event in a new European Record of 37.56 seconds.

Two years out from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, National Paralympic Swim Coach Jim Laverty can be pleased with his team’s performance at the championships which included 2 Bronze medals, six lifetime best and six season’s best swims.

James Scully was the standout performer with 2 Bronze medals in the 100m and 200m S5 Events. Ellen Keane had three fourth place finishes in the 100m Freestyle S9, 100m Breaststroke SB9 and missed out on Bronze today in the 100m Butterfly S9 final by just .18 of a second, while Ailbhe Kelly swam 3 lifetime bests on her senior international debut and is definitely one to watch for the future. Laurence McGivern also narrowly missed out on Bronze in the 100m Backstroke S9 and Jonathan McGrath was 6th overall in the 400m Freestyle S8.

Commenting on his team’s performance this week Laverty said “I think the week went really well. We had a small team but I was really pleased how they stepped up during this week. We started off with a high on day 1 with 3 personal bests and a medal. Ellen, James and Ailbhe all swam personal bests this week and I think that’s very encouraging going into Worlds in 2015, I‘m really looking forward to seeing how they progress into Rio”.

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Irish Team for 2014 IPC Swimming European Championships

Ellen Keane, S9, SB9, SM9 classes, NAC Swim Club, from Clontarf, Dublin 3

Ailbhe Kelly, S8 class, NAC Swim Club, from Castleknock, Dublin 15

James Scully, S5 class, NAC Swim Club, from Ratoath, Co. Meath

Jonathan McGrath, S8, Swim Ireland UL Sport Performance Centre, from Killaloe, Co.Clare

Laurence McGivern, S9, Invictus Swim Team, from Rostrevor, Co.Down

Provisional Competition Schedule – Irish team at IPC Swimming European Championships

(All times quoted are Irish time, schedule may be subject to change)

Day 1 – Monday 4th August 2014


  Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 100m Backstroke Heat 1:29.40 (5th) PB
  James Scully S5 Men’s 100m Freestyle Heat 1:21.66 (3rd) PB
  Ellen Keane S9 Women’s 50m Freestyle FINAL 30.62 (4th) PB
5.13pm Jonathan McGrath S8 Men’s 100m Backstroke FINAL 1:16.98 (7th)
5.17pm Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 100m Backstroke FINAL 1:29.18 (5th) PB
5.22pm James Scully S5 Men’s 100m Freestyle FINAL 1:22.40 (3rd) BRONZE Medal



Day 2 – Tuesday 5th August 2014


8.52am Jonathan McGrath S8 Men’s 400m Freestyle FINAL 5:00.61 (6th)
9.00am Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 400m Freestyle FINAL 5:54.33 (5th) PB



Day 3 – Wednesday 6th August 2014


10.10am Ellen Keane SB9 Women’s 100m Breaststroke FINAL 1:23.37 (4th)
4.21pm Ellen Keane S9 Women’s 100m Freestyle FINAL 1:08.29 (8th)



Day 4 – Thursday 7th August 2014


No Irish athletes competing today



Day 5 – Friday 8th August 2014


8.00am James Scully S5 Men’s 200m Freestyle Heat 2:54.07 (3rd)
4.00pm James Scully S5 Men’s 200m Freestyle FINAL 2:53.13 (3rd) BRONZE Medal
6.10pm Ellen Keane SM9 Women’s 200m Individual Medley FINAL 2:40.78 (5th) PB

Day 6 – Saturday 9th August 2014


8.00am Laurence McGivern S9 Men’s 100m Backstroke Heat 1:06.60 (1st)
8.13am James Scully S5 Men’s 50m Freestyle Heat 38.43 (5th)
8.49am Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 100m Freestyle FINAL 1:23.86 (7th)
8.53am Ellen Keane S9 Women’s 100m Backstroke FINAL 1:20.59 (5th)
4.03pm Laurence McGivern S9 Men’s 100m Backstroke FINAL* 1:08.53 (5th)
4.33pm James Scully S5 Men’s 50m Freestyle FINAL* 39.02 (6th)

Day 7 – Sunday 10th August 2014


8.38am James Scully S5 Men’s 50m Backstroke Heat 47.10 (7th)
9.18am Ellen Keane S9 Women’s 100m Butterfly FINAL 1:12.35 (4th)
4.24pm Ailbhe Kelly S8 Women’s 50m Freestyle FINAL DNS
4.28pm James Scully S5 Men’s 50m Backstroke FINAL 46.50 (7th)



About Classification: Classification is a unique and integral part of disability sport. It provides the structure to separate athletes with similar levels of impairments into groups, or classes as they are commonly known, so they can compete in fair and equal competitions against one another, and ensure that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus. This same principle exists in non-Paralympic sports where athletes are classified according to age, gender or weight divisions to allow for as fair competition as possible.

In swimming classification the S refers to swimming, in particular the Freestyle, Butterfly and Backstroke events, the SB refers to Breaststroke and the SM refers to Swimming Medley, with the numbers denoting the level of impairment, the lower numbers the more severe the impairments and the higher less so.

For a full run down on all the classifications in swimming visit






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