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Brown and Shaw suffer bronze medal heartache

FOR a couple of minutes, the Irish thought they were about to get a bit of success in the British fortress that is the Velodrome, but James Brown and Damien Shaw just couldn't hold on for a bronze in their medal race last night.

The duo led Spanish pair Clemente Solano and Munoz with three laps of their 4km individual pursuit race to go, but after recovering from a slow start to take a lead that stretched out to six-hundredths of a second at one point, they faded in the final laps and were denied a first Irish medal.

It remains a remarkable performance for the two men who only came together in December and first competed in February.

A former cross-country athlete, Shaw emerged from a talent identification search by Cycling Ireland to pilot the visually impaired Brown (47) who won gold when competing for Great Britain on the track in 1984 and '88.

hungry

Now in green, he could not hide his disappointment after coming so close to a medal 24 years after winning his last. "We're pleased to be near the top, but disappointed not to be on the podium," Shaw said. "Fourth is a good result, it was a fabulous experience."

"We're training against full-time athletes and we're not full-time athletes," the Westmeath man said. "We've done quite well on the time we're allowed, but we're hungry for training and success and we want to stay together and get stronger."

They return to the track tomorrow for the 1km time trial, as will Enda Smyth who clocked a personal best in finishing 16th in the individual 1km time trial C1-3.

Meanwhile, Clontarf's Ellen Keane (17) finished seventh in the final of the women's 100m butterfly at the Aquatics Centre.

Swam swam a PB 1:13.15 to finish fifth fastest in the semi-finals, but she couldn't replicate that form in last night's final and was never in the running behind South African Natalie du Toit who claimed gold.

James Scully had earlier missed out by one place in the 50m freestyle S5 heats, while over at the Equestrian stadium at Greenwich Park, Eilish Byrne got Ireland's team effort off to a strong start with a fourth-placed finish in the Equestrian Team Test-Grade II.

Irish Independent