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More than 60 medals secured by Irish squad ahead of final day of competition at Special Olympics

Shannon Nixon from Coalisland won bronze in the 25m race. Picture by Ricardo Guglielminotti/ Special Olympics Ireland

TEAM Ireland will today embark on their final day of competition at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.

More than 60 medals have already been secured by the Irish squad, which includes 21 athletes from Ulster.

Team Ireland's ladies' basketball team yesterday became the latest victors, claiming gold in a stunning 27-15 victory over Bharat.

The squad features a strong Ulster contingent, with Faye Boyd, Grace Hamilton, Sara Shivas and Sarah Thorne from Antrim, Gemma O'Keefe and Amy Watters from Bangor and Siobhan Dunne from Strabane.

Among the other Ulster winners has been Richard Currie from Dungannon, who clinched some of Team Ireland's first medals with two golds in the single and team bocce events.

Athlete Shannon Nixon from Coalisland won a bronze medal in the 25m run, while Omagh's Lee Mitchell winning two golds in equestrian events, during his international debut.

Shannon's mother Siobhan said they have been overwhelmed by the support for Team Ireland.

"She is having the time of her life here in Dubai with them," she said.

"It's not medals she'll look back on and remember but the memories."

Other Ulster winners in the 91-strong Team Ireland squad have been Co Donegal gymnast Patrick Quinlivan, who won seven medals on St Patrick's Day and Emma Carlisle from Ballygowan won bronze in the 100m backstroke.

Three athletes from Newry are also going home with medals - equestrian athlete Megan McElherron scooped a gold and silver medal in English Equitation and Working Trails, while Fergal Gregory secured bronze in the 500m kayak event and Conor McClorey won bronze in the 1600m open water swim.

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