Danielle Hill continued her fantastic form and Finn McGeever added his name to the record books as the Irish National Team Trials continued in Dublin today.
Larne’s Hill broke her third record of the meet, the 24 hours old 100m Freestyle record, in an impressive 55.33 seconds. The 21-year-old had held the previous Irish best at 56.01 from 2019 when Ards’ Victoria Catterson broke it in last night’s semi-final in 55.44. Hill reclaimed the record tonight in the final with Catterson finishing second in 55.53.
Speaking after the race Hill commented “No pressure does amazing things. I was fuelled by Victoria’s swim yesterday and my disappointment of the 100 Backstroke, so all of that added together made up for a pretty nice swim.”
“We used to train age group level together in Templemore, so we’ve known each other quite a while and it’s nice to see Victoria starting to come through. It’s much needed for the relay, but also individually. I know how she works in the pool, and we train in the gym, so I know how hard she works in the gym too. She deserves it as much as I do.”
“It’s an exciting time. Both of us would say we want to go 54 and there’s no reason why we can’t. We’ve just got to get our head down, and hopefully be given an opportunity to swim as a relay and prove that female swimming in Ireland is moving forward.”
Catterson added “I definitely think that Danielle and I will be battling back and forth for this time for some time to come. I came here wanting to fight for my place on that relay at Europeans and hopefully the way we have pushed each other means that I will get that email next week.”
From tonight’s 100m Freestyle Final, the consideration time for the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay for European Championships in Budapest, Hungary in May has been met. Ireland’s Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay is also looking to be a very exciting prospect with Irish Records this week in the 100m Backstroke (Hill), 100m Breaststroke (Mona McSharry), 100m Freestyle and Walshe breaking the minute mark for the second time tonight in the 100m Butterfly final in 59.73. Both teams, which will be selected next week, will compete at the European Championships and will be aiming for a world top 16 spot and place at the Olympic Games.
National Centre Limerick’s Finn McGeever broke his first Irish Senior Record in tonight’s 400m Freestyle Final with an impressive 3:52.83. The 21-year-old dominated the final to go under Jack McMillan’s 2019 record of 3:53.31.
A delighted McGeever commented “I wasn’t expecting that at all. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m pretty proud to have that title to my name. I knew it was going to be better than 3:59 from the 200 Free I did the other day, but I wasn’t expecting that at all’.
“We all kinda cruised it this morning, but Liam was still quite fast. I wasn’t sure what kind of form he was on, so I was just ready for a race. We hadn’t really been training for the 400, we had been more focused on the 200, but obviously the 400 will improve as the 200 does.”
In the Women’s 400m Freestyle Final, Ards’ Amelia Kane took her second win of the week, adding to the 800m Freestyle, in 4:23.86.
Ahead of her 100m Butterfly Final Ellen Walshe had also topped the field in the 200m Individual Medley semi-finals and enters tomorrow’s final as the fastest qualifier in 2:18.04. In the first semi-final, Ellen Keane (2:39.36), Nicole Turner (3:09.04) and Roisin Ni Riain (2:33.82) were all under the Minimum Qualification Standard (MQS) for the Paralympic Games this Summer.
In the men’s 200m Individual Medley semi-final National Centre Limerick’s Cadan McCarthy progresses to the final as the fastest qualifier in 2:04.88
Calum Bain once again dominated in the 50m Freestyle. The Cookstown SC and University of Stirling swimmer won all three rounds in the event, clocking 22.55 in this evening’s final.
In the 200m Backstroke semi-final Enniskillen’s Cora Rooney, swimming solo, clocked 2:26.63.
Tomorrow will see all four swimmers with the FINA Olympic Consideration Time (OCT) return to the pool. Daniel Wiffen will be first up in the 1500m Freestyle, the 19-year-old qualified in the 800m Freestyle on Tuesday and will look to add a second event to his programme. Wiffen is the current Irish Record holder at 15:19.04 while the OCT stands at 15:00.99. The Larne and Loughborough University swimmer knocked 20 seconds off his 800m Freestyle time, so the 1500m time will be well within reach.
Darragh Greene and Mona McSharry will both compete in the 200m Breaststroke. Greene has already been under the OCT of 2:10.35 with an Irish Record of 2:10.05, while McSharry will need to shave just under two seconds off her best time (2:27.44) to hit the OCT of 2:25.52.
Shane Ryan will also be in action in the 100m Freestyle. Ryan has already hit the OCT in the 100m Backstroke and will look to add the 100m Freestyle, needing to take just .11 off his Irish Record of 46.68 for 46.57.
A press release will issue following the morning heats.
The Trials are primarily open to Performance athletes currently training in recognised onshore training bubbles in the National Centre (Dublin) at the National Aquatic Centre, the National Centre (Limerick) at the University of Limerick and at Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, as well as those identified athletes of similar standing who are living and training offshore.
The competition will comprise of a full Olympic individual event programme with heats, semi-finals, and finals in all 50m, 100m and 200m events and heats and finals in 400m, 800m and 1500m events. It will give our top athletes several qualification opportunities and will provide some very exciting swims over the course of the meet.
The meet will be live streamed on RTE Player and will be available to view worldwide.
Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, Tokyo, Japan, 23rd July – 8th August 2021
Darragh Greene (100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke), Shane Ryan (100m Backstroke), Daniel Wiffen (800m Freestyle), Mona McSharry (100m Breaststroke)
Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games, Tokyo, Japan, 24th August – 5th September 2021
Ellen Keane (100m Breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley, 100m Backstroke), Nicole Turner (50m Butterfly, 100m Breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley) Barry McClements (100m Butterfly, 400m Freestyle), Patrick Flanagan (400m Freestyle), Róisín Ní Ríain (100m Backstroke, 50m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 200m IM)
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