World Para-Swimming: Paralympic star Bethany Firth clinches first world gold

Bethany Firth previously clinched four world silver medals
Bethany Firth has won four Paralympic gold medals but Tuesday's triumph was her first world title

Bethany Firth clinched the first World Para-Swimming title of her career by storming to victory in the S14 100m backstroke final in London.

The Northern Ireland woman has won four Paralympic gold medals but had missed out on world title glory until Tuesday.

The Great Britain swimmer clocked 1:05.97 to finish 1.26 seconds ahead of Russia's Valeriia Shabalina.

Britain's Jessica-Jane Applegate was third as the same medallists from the 200m freestyle clinched podium spots.

Russian Shabalina won Monday's 200m freestyle gold ahead of Firth, 23, and Applegate.

The 100m backstroke has been Firth's specialist event during her successful career.

Swimming for Ireland, the county Down woman won the event at the London 2012 Paralympics before retaining the title while representing Great Britain in Rio in 2016.

Firth clinched three gold medals and a silver for Great Britain at the Rio Games while she has also won four European Championship gold medals during her career.

The Seaforde swimmer is the world record holder in the 100m backstroke with her 1:04.05 clocking in Rio and went into Tuesday's final as the strong favourite after her morning heat time of 1:06.77 was three seconds quicker than her nearest rival.

Firth won three silver medals at the 2013 world championships in Montreal but after missing the 2015 championships through injury was unable to compete at the 2017 championships in Mexico after the British team pulled out following the earthquake in the country.