Barry McClements wins bronze after vow to stop overthinking and ‘rip stuff up’

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Barry McClements admitted he had a brief word with himself to cast off any uncertainty before going on to become Northern Ireland’s first ever swimming medallist at the Commonwealth Games.

The Ards para-swimmer collected bronze in the men’s S9 100 metres backstroke after a time of one minute 5.09 seconds, with Australia’s Timothy Hodge capturing gold and New Zealand’s Jesse Reynolds silver.

McClements’ thoughts before walking out at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham were drifting towards the recent times he had set but the 20-year-old shook off any doubts in a terrific display from lane two.

“I feel amazing,” he said. “I didn’t get a PB so when I looked up and saw my time, I was a bit worried but then saw third beside my name so it’s an amazing feeling.

“I came here knowing my time this year was ranked third but then in the heat sheets I was ranked fifth.

“I was just thinking a bit too much about the rankings but when I got in the call room I just said to myself ‘I’m just going to rip stuff up’.

“This is the first time my family’s seen me race in about four years because of Covid. I’m very happy to get my first international medal in front of them.

Toni Shaw won bronze for Scotland (David Davies/PA)
Toni Shaw won bronze for Scotland (David Davies/PA)

“You do overthink about the times but at the end of the day as long as you do your best you’re going to be happy.”

Toni Shaw claimed bronze in the women’s S9 100m freestyle event and, despite missing out on silver by just 0.01secs, the Scot was overjoyed with a podium position.

“I’m absolutely buzzing, I don’t really have any words,” she said after finishing behind gold medal winner Sophie Pascoe from New Zealand and Australia’s Emily Beercroft, who was runner-up.

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