By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 13/08/18 11:16pm
Ellen Keane is feeling a few nerves but she cannot wait to swim in front of thousands of screaming Irish fans at the World Para European Championships in Dublin.
The 23-year-old was brought up only a few miles from the National Aquatic Centre and over the next few days the Sky Sports Scholar will be under pressure to bag some silverware in her home city.
Being the face of the event could be daunting enough, but little would faze this ‘veteran’ of the pool who was Ireland’s youngest Paralympian at the 2008 Beijing Games at 13, made three finals at London 2012 and won bronze at the Rio Paralympics.
Keane, born with an undeveloped left arm and competes as an amputee, starts her competition on Wednesday in the 100m butterfly, followed by the 100m backstroke, the 200 Individual Medley and finishes with her big race – 100m breaststroke – on Sunday.
“I’m so excited but I’ve still been having days where I get really nervous,” Kane said. “The pool looks amazing though and I’m just so proud of how well it’s all been put together.
One more sleep…😱😍😄🤩😉🤭☝🏻🧜🏻♀️🙅🏼♀️☘️🇮🇪 #Dublin2018
— Ellen Keane (@keane_ellen) August 12, 2018
“My first race (100m butterfly) is a strong event for me but not my strongest. It’s a race I’m going to really enjoy and push myself and it’s nice to start with an event that’s not the most important.
“My 100m backstroke is a straight final, then it’s the 200 IM on Friday with my main event (100m breaststroke) on Sunday.
“All my friends and family have been talking about getting tickets and it’s an amazing feeling to know the stadium may be full of Irish people screaming.
“That’s something I’ve never experienced before and probably never will – unless the whole of Ireland travels to another country to support us which would be amazing!
“Overall I’m just really excited and looking forward to sharing this experience with everyone in Dublin.”
ELLEN’S DUBLIN SCHEDULE:
AUG 15 – 100m butterfly S9
AUG 16 – 100m backstroke S9
AUG 17 – 200m IM SM9
AUG 19 – 100m breaststroke SB8
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