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Congratulations, Tully! ROH patient bags two medals and smashes world record at Paralympics

Congratulations to Tully Kearney, an ROH patient and world champion swimmer, who has bagged not only silver and gold medals at the 2020 Paralympic Games but has smashed the world record.

Tully finished second in the Women’s 200m Freestyle (S5) on Wednesday 25 August at the postponed Tokyo games – her first time at the Paralympics. She went on to snatch gold on Thursday 26 August in the Women's 100m Freestyle (S5). Tully broke her own record set in the qualifying by two seconds and she clocked a final time of 1:14:39. China’s Lu Dong made a phenomenal start with Suzanna Hext and Tully Kearney just behind her. One length in Kearney was in control of the race and she surged away in the final 50m.

After winning her second medal at the games, she told Channel 4: “Yeah I was quite frustrated with how I swam yesterday. Today I was determined that no-one was going to beat me, I felt rubbish but I though I’ll leave it all in the pool and it worked!

“I have so many people to thank, firstly my mum. After 2016 I didn’t want to try to swim again but if it wasn’t for my mum forcing me to get back into the pool [I wouldn’t be here].

“It hasn’t sunk in yet!”

Tully is a seven-time world champion across freestyle and butterfly. At the World Championships in 2015 she picked up four gold medals and one silver and looked to be on course for the GB team at Rio 2016. However, her life-long dream of competing at the games were put on hold, when she was forced to withdraw due to health reasons.

But, this year, she joined 22 others on the ParalympicsGB swimming team and headed to Tokyo, where she has put in outstanding performances.

Violet Tully Kearney and Violet copy
(Above) Tully with patient Autumn and her sister Violet. Autumn also has scoliosis and met Tully when she visited the Trust in 2019

Tully, who is from Nottingham, was born with cerebral palsy and developed generalised dystonia (a progressive neurological movement disorder) in her mid-teens – conditions that affect her lower limbs, left arm and shoulders. In 2019, she was diagnosed with scoliosis. On a visit to the Trust in 2019, she credited the treatment she receives at ROH in helping her success.

You can follow Tully on Twitter @TullyKearney

Image at the top of the article credited to Getty Images