Ellie Simmonds set to bring curtain down on Paralympics career

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Five-time gold medallist Ellie Simmonds expects Tokyo 2020 to be her final Paralympics.

Great Britain’s opening ceremony flagbearer failed to win a medal in the Japanese capital after finishing fifth in Thursday’s S6 400m freestyle final, having successfully challenged her initial disqualification.

She previously came fourth in the SB6 100m breaststroke and fifth in the SM6 200m individual medley, with 19-year-old team-mate Maisie Summers-Newton claiming each of those titles.

Simmonds won a total of eight Paralympic medals across four Games, having made her debut at Beijing 2008 at the age of 13.

“I think this is going to be my last. I’ll go home and evaluate,” the 26-year-old told Channel 4 following her third and final race in Japan.

“I’m not just saying that because I’m gutted or anything like that. I knew going into these Games this was going to be the last. I don’t think I could go for another three years.

“I’m leaving it at the right time, I love it, I’ve absolutely had a wonderful competition and I’ve loved every minute of it.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for the support. I love the Paralympics and I love absolutely everyone on the team, it’s just been incredible – but I’m looking forward to going home.

“One thing about these Games is you don’t have your family and loved ones in the crowds. For me they’re like my comfort blanket, even though I’ve been going for so many years.”

News of Simmonds’ likely retirement came ahead of three GB medals at Tokyo Aquatics Centre, including a fifth career gold for Bethany Firth.

Northern Ireland swimmer Firth retained her S14 100m backstroke crown in a time of 1:05.92, with team-mate Jessica-Jane Applegate taking bronze, just over two seconds behind.

Firth, 25, has now won the event at three successive Games, moving her on to a total of eight Paralympic medals, having also picked up two silvers in Japan.

Meanwhile, Reece Dunn collected the fourth medal of his debut Games, adding S14 100m backstroke bronze to freestyle and individual medley golds and butterfly silver.

The 25-year-old touched the wall in 59.97, with compatriot Jordan Catchpole 3.23secs slower in fourth.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting