Irish swimmers continued their record breaking form today with Conor Ferguson and Brendan Hyland taking the spotlight on the penultimate night of the Irish Open Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.
Conor Ferguson became the first Irishman to break the two minute mark in the 200m Backstroke when he stormed home in the preliminaries of the event in a time of 1:59.29. Not content with that, the 17 year old took a further half a second off the time in the final to win the gold medal in 1:58.80.
Speaking after the race Ferguson commented “My plan for the weekend was to go 1:58 in the 200m (Backstroke). My training has become much more aerobic and focused towards the 200m and will work down to the 100m. I’m looking forward to the 50m Backstroke in the morning and have my eye on that World Championships qualification time.”
Brendan Hyland reclaimed the 100m Butterfly Irish Record in this evening’s final, adding to the 200m Butterfly record on Thursday. The Tallaght swimmer blasted a 53.26 second swim to take down Conor Brines record from earlier this year. Brines of Larne Swimming Club touched second in 54.13 seconds.
A thrilled Hyland said “I was delighted with the 200m to get back on track, it was three years coming and I’m really happy I stepped up in the 100m tonight, I love to race, looking at the other Butterfly results from Dave McCullagh (February) made me put my head down and get focused for this weekend.”
Bangor Swimming Club made it three relay wins and picked up their third Irish Record in the 400m Medley Relay Final. Conor Ferguson, Jamie Graham, Jordan Sloan and David Thompson added to 400m and 800m Relay titles knocking 5 seconds off the previous time of 3:50.28 held by UCD, touching in 3:45.07. Ards and Trojan battled to the end in the women’s event, but Ards’ Victoria Catterson got to the wall for her team in 4:27.97 just a tenth of a second ahead of Trojan SC (4:28.12).
Jordan Sloan continued his fantastic form with a win in the Men’s 400m Freestyle Final. Sloan had already won the 100m and 200m events this weekend, setting Irish Records in both and was just off Andrew Meegan’s record in the 400m event clocking 3:55.47 for a lifetime best. Rachel Bethel raced to her third national title in the Women’s 400m Freestyle Final. The Lisburn swimmer, who had won 200m and 800m Gold on Thursday, was pushed all the way by 15 year old Shannon Russell from Lurgan, but it was indeed Bethel who touched first in 4:21.26, Russell just behind in 4:22.24.
In the women’s 100m Butterfly Final UCD’s Shauna O’Brien was just off her Irish Record winning in a time of 1:00.41. Templeogue’s Ellen Walshe was second in a European Juniors consideration time of 1:01.60 while Emma Reid claimed the bronze medal in 1:02.03. Stirling’s Natasha Hofton claimed commemorative Gold in the women’s 200m Backstroke Final with a time of 2:14.46 with Kilkenny’s Maria Godden taking the national title in 2:18.24.
Competition continues tomorrow (Sunday).
Full Results Day 3
Women 400m Freestyle Final: 1st R Bethel Lisburn 4:21.26 2nd S Russell Lurgan 4:22.24 3rd V Catterson Ards 4:25.40
Men 400m Freestyle Final: 1st J Sloan Bangor 3:55.47 2nd J McMillan Bangor 4:01.52 3rd F Gifford Stirling 4:04.38
Women 100m Butterfly Final: 1st S O’Brien UCD 1:00.41 2nd E Walshe Templeogue 1:01.60 3rd E Reid Ards 1:02.30
Men 100m Butterfly Final: 1st B Hyland Tallaght 53.26 ISR 2nd C Brines Larne 54.13 3rd G Watson Edinburgh 54.95
Women 200m Backstroke Final: 1st N Hofton Stirling 2:14.46 2nd M Godden Kilkenny 2:18.24 3rd M Briggs Stirling 2:19.45
Men 200m Backstroke Final: 1st C Ferguson Bangor 1:58.80 2nd J Warren Ballard 2:05.15 3rd S Scannell Kilkenny 2:06.44
Women 4x100m Medley Team Relay: 1st Ards 4:27.97 2nd Trojan 4:28.12 3rdTempleogue 4:35.70
Men 4x100m Medley Team Relay: 1st Bangor 3:45.07 ISR 2nd Vikings Rouen 3:53.78 3rd Bangor 3:58.92
Consideration Times Met (selection of athletes for all events will be made at a later date)
European Junior Swimming Championships, 28th June – 2nd July 2017, Herzliya, Israel
Mona McSharry (100 Breast, 100Free, 200 Breast, 50 Free, 200IM), Ellen Walshe (200Fly, 400IM, 100Fly), Niamh Coyne (100Breast, 200Breast), Rebecca Reid (400 IM), Jack McMillan (200Free), Conor Ferguson (100Back), Robbie Powell (200Free), Rachel Bethel (200Free, 400Free),
FINA World Diving, Swimming & Open Water Championships, 15th – 30thJuly, Budapest, Hungary
Jordan Sloan (200Free), Mona McSharry (100Breast)
IOC European Youth Olympic Festival, 22nd – 30th July, Gyor, Hungary
Maria Godden (100 Free, 200 Free, 100 Back, 200 Back), Amelia Kane (200 Fly, 400IM), Caoimhe Quinn (200 Fly, 200 Back), Julia Knox (400 IM, 200IM) Mia Davison (100 Breast), Robyn Lynch (200 Fly), Ethan Murtagh (200 Fly), Rebecca Lowe (100 Back, 200 Back), Sean Scannell (200 Back), Scarlett Armstrong (200 Back), Cara Osing (400 Free, 100Free, 200Free), Naomi Trait (200Free), Sean McNicholl (100Back, 100Free, 100Fly), Daniel Wiffen (1500Free), Ellie McKibbin (200Fly), Shannon Russell (200Fly, 200Free, 100Breast, 400IM, 400Free), Isabelle Gibbs (100Back), Eoin Corby (100Breast)
World University Games, 20th – 27th August, Taipei, Chinese Taipei
Rory McEvoy (50 Back), Conor Brines (50 Fly), Darragh Greene (50Breast), Jordan Sloan (200Free, 100Free), Brendan Hyland (200Fly)
World Junior Swimming Championships, 23rd – 28th August, Indianapolis, USA
Mona McSharry (100 Breast, 200 Breast), Ellen Walshe (200Fly), Niamh Coyne (100Breast), Conor Ferguson (100Back)