The Friday when Ireland took the first medal in front of the home crowd also confirmed one thing about the Dublin 2018 World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships. No matter how many races one day has, Ihar Boki will be the winner of one them.
The Belarusian swimmer took his fifth victory in five days at the National Aquatic Centre on 17 August, in the men’s 100m backstroke S13 (57.00). But he admitted he was expecting even more.
“I was expecting a better time but my form is not best right now. But I’m happy with my fifth gold. I still have two more events and I will try to win more medals,” said the 24-year-old who has 11 Paralympic gold medals to his name.
Ukraine’s Kyrylo Garashchenko finished second and Finland’s Antti Antero Latikka third.
Home fans celebrate
The atmosphere created by the Irish fans got to its peak when Ellen Keane took her country’s first medal at Dublin 2018, a bronze in the women’s 200m individual medley SM9.
Spain’s Nuria Marques Soto was the winner (2:35.01) and Great Britain’s Toni Shaw the silver medallist.
“I tried not to think much about the other girls. We all have our own chances so I just tried to keep my head in and my legs kicking. Emotionally was draining so I just try to use all the energy I had left,” said Keane.
Netherlands reach new heights
Ukraine took another five golds to reach 27 in total but had fierce competition from Italy and Netherlands who both won four on day five. It was the most successful day for the Dutch swimmers so far.
Liesette Bruinsma broke another world record, this time in the women’s 200m individual medley SM11 (2:46.58). Thijs van Hofweegen then won Dutch gold in the men’s 400m freestyle S6 (5:09.96).
The Netherlands’ other two golds came as a surprise even to the winners.
“This is not even my strongest event. I can’t believe it,” said Lisa Krueger after her win in the women’s 100m butterfly S10 (1:07.82).
“After the morning heats, I didn’t think I had a chance. But I put my mind back in the race and I gave my best. I think about one day at a time. I’m happy it worked in the end,” said men’s 200m freestyle S4 winner (3:07.12) Michael Schoenmaker.
World records continue to fall
After a Thursday without any golds, the Italian national anthem was back among the National Aquatic Centre’s top tunes. First for Carlotta Gilli who won the women’s 100m backstroke S13 with a new world record (1:05.76).
Antonio Fantin then took gold in the men’s 50m freestyle S5 (31.18) only 0.02 behind his mark in the morning heat when he too broke the world record.
Vincenzo Boni in the men’s 50m backstroke S3 (48.78) and Federico Morlacchi in the men’s 200m individual medley SM9 (2:17.55) won the other Italian golds of the day.
Ukraine’s gold rush continued with Denys Dubrov in the men’s 100m butterfly S10 (54.78) and then Iaroslav Denysenko who took his third individual gold in Dublin in the men’s 200m individual medley SM12 (2:12.67).
It also was a third gold for Yelyzaveta Mereshko in the women’s 400m freestyle S6 (5:19.64) and a first to Andrii Trusov in the men’s 50m freestyle S7 (28.38).
Denysenko then came back for the final gold of the day as Ukraine set a new world record in the mixed 4x100m relay 49pts (3:54.70). Kyrylo Garashchenko, Anna Stetsenko and Maryna Piddubna were the other members of the team.
Perales takes gold for her son
Spain celebrated two more victories on Friday. Israel Oliver came back after a 2017 recovering from injuries to win the men’s 200m individual medley SM11 (2:28.18).
Teresa Perales added a gold to the collection of medals she takes as gifts to her 8-year-old son Mariano with a victory in the 50m freestyle S5 (38.55).
Elena Krawzow and Denise Grahl won two gold medals for Germany. Krawzow won the 200m individual medley SM12 (2:31.61) – her third victory in Dublin – and Grahl won her second gold in Ireland in the 50m freestyle S7 (32.83).
Great Britain’s Alice Tai made it two golds in two events in the women’s 100m freestyle S8 (1:05.53).
Poland’s Michal Golus topped the podium for the second time at the Euros with a win in the men’s 100m freestyle S8 (1:01.70).
Full results and a complete schedule can be found on the Dublin 2018 website.
Saturday (18 August) is the penultimate day of the European Championships with 23 medal events taking place.
You can watch day six live on the World Para Swimming website and Facebook page.