Rio-wind: Firth on fire

26 Aug 2020

With the countdown surpassing the year to go mark to the postponed Paralympic Games in Tokyo, we're taking a look back at some of the golden highlights and medal moments of past Games...

Britain won 47 medals in the pool at the 2016 Paralympic games, the highest yield of any sport as the ParalympicsGB team celebrated returning from Brazil with 147 medals in total.

In our first Paralympic Rio-wind we flashback to the races in which Bethany Firth achieved the feat of being ParalympicsGB's most decorated athlete for the Rio 2016 Games, with three golds and a silver.

Quick off the mark

It didn't take long for Firth to get up to speed in Brazil despite a wrist injury having hampered her 2015 season. With the retention of her London 2012 Paralympic title in the S14 100m Backstroke her first objective, the Seaforde-born swimmer set new world record marks in both the heats and final on day one of the Paralympic programme to claim her first gold of the Games.

“I’m quite a determined person, after breaking my wrist last year I had to come and watch the girls compete and that was hard to watch. But you can do whatever you put your mind to and I came back."

Battle of the Brits

Medal's reigned down for ParalympicsGB on the fourth night of swimming at Rio 2016, with a headlining British one-two in the S14 200m freestyle final.

Firth and compatriot Applegate had shared the podium earlier in the week (S14 100m Backstroke), this time however a step closer. The City of Norwich athlete chased the hot on the heels of Firth, who burst out of the blocks to lead from gun to the final touch, as the Paralympic title was passed between the pair.

“I wouldn’t have got that gold if she (Jessica-Jane Applegate) hadn’t been there pushing me on.”

A third medal followed in the SB14 100m Breastroke, as Firth pushed the reigning champion Morales (ESP) all the way to the wall. On this occasion however the Spanish athlete held out to take the title by just tenths of a second, as Firth was forced to settle for a worthy silver.

Completing the gold rush

Firth completed her golden Rio 2016 by breaking her own Paralympic record in the SM14 200m individual medley, with Britain sealing another one-two as Applegate also secured her third medal of the Games.

Closing out her scheduled programme in dominant fashion, the multiple Paralympic Champion had already swam well clear of the rest of the field by the halfway mark and enjoyed a margin of over eight seconds come the finish.

“It’s a great way to end the Games and ParalympicsGB just smashed it out of the water tonight.

“There was a little bit of pressure to finish on a high so I’m happy I did that.”

Keep an eye on the British Swimming website and social channels for more memorable moments from previous Games, as we celebrate the period over which the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics were initially set to take place.