Irish swimmers were in impressive form on the opening night of the Irish Long Course National Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. With 10 National Titles up for grabs, it was an exciting night of racing.
Brendan Hyland was the standout performer on the first day of action securing the 200m Butterfly National Title in a new Irish Senior Record time of 1:58.68. Hyland, who trains at Swim Ireland’s Performance Centre at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) bested his previous Irish Record of 1:59.14 to secure Gold ahead of Galway’s Cian Duffy (2:04.34).
Speaking after the race Hyland said “I’m delighted with the result, it was a slow morning so I was nervous going into the Final, even though I have already qualified for Europeans I still wanted to do my best, so I’m happy to get the record”.
Hyland’s team mate at the NAC Antoinette Neamt was also in fantastic form securing Gold in both the 800m and 200m Freestyle. Neamt blitzed the field in the 800m to touch in 8:46.23, over 20 seconds ahead of second place Therese Corry (9:11.09) of Portmarnock. The 13 year old from Tallaght then went on to win the women’s 200m Freestyle Final in a time of 2:03.66 ahead of Lisburn’s Rachel Bethel (2:05.17) and Danielle Lowe (2:05.44) Aer Lingus.
Jordan Sloan of Bangor SC picked up the men’s 200m Freestyle Irish title, his time of 1:51.67 held off 2013 Champion Sean Leahy (Dolphin SC) who was second in 1:53.67.
Andrew Meegan retained the 1,500 metre Freestyle title in a close encounter with NAC Performance Centre team mate Brendan Gibbons (15:55.85). Meegan’s time of 15:54.70 was outside the European qualification time but both he and Gibbons will have another chance in Sunday’s 800m Freestyle event.
Another swimmer at the Performance Centre at the NAC Clodagh Flood won the women’s 200m Butterfly. Flood swam a personal best time of 2:17.07 to take Gold ahead of Sarah Kelly (2:20.58) and Gemma Kane (2:20.88).
In the final Individual event of the night 2013 European medallist Barry Murphy and World University Games medallist Fiona Doyle secured the men’s and women’s 50m Breaststroke titles. Murphy’s time of 28.14 and Doyle’s time of 31.71 were both inside European qualification times. In the earlier semi-final, Ards swimmer Michael Dawson secured the nomination time for Commonwealth Games in a time of 29.01.
Paul Donovan is head coach at Swim Ireland’s Performance Centre at the NAC, the team won six of the eight individual titles on offer tonight “I was delighted with the first day of Championships, it’s always good to win titles and break records. This is a stepping stone into International competition this summer and as a team we are progressing well and looking forward to more qualifiers over the weekend.”
In tonight’s final event Curtis Coulter led his Ards team to victory in the 400m Freestyle Relay. Coulter swam the first 100 metres in a time of 50.32 which was fast enough to secure him a Commonwealth Games nomination time. The Ards team finished in 3:31.25 ahead of Bangor 3:35.35 and Ennis 3:36.21.
Aer Lingus were victorious in the women’s event in 4:00.51. Competition continues tomorrow with a further 8 National Titles on offer.
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Full Results Day 1
Men 1500m Freestyle Final: 1st A Meegan Aer Lingus 15:54.70 2nd B Gibbons Athlone 15:55.85 3rd C Bryan Ennis 16:14.24
Women 800m Freestyle Final: 1st A Neamt Tallaght 8:46.23 2nd T Corry Portmarnock 9:11.09 3rd A Berry Aer Lingus 9:24.57
Men 200m Freestyle Final: 1st D Rapsys Lithuania 1:50.41 2nd P Strazdas Lithuania 1:51.07 3rd J Sloan Bangor 1:51.67
Women 200m Freestyle Final: 1st A Neamt Tallaght 2:03.66 2nd R Bethel Lisburn 2:05.17 3rd D Lowe Aer Lingus 2:05.44
Men 200m Butterfly Final: 1st B Hyland Tallaght 1:58.68 2nd C Duffy Galway 2:04.34 3rd B Griffin Aer Lingus 2:06.65
Women 200m Butterfly Final: 1st C Flood Tallaght 2:17.07 2nd S Kelly Claremorris 2:20.58 3rd G Kane Bangor 2:20.88
Men 50m Breaststroke Final: 1st B Murphy Aer Lingus 28.14 2nd N Quinn Castlebar 29.23 3rd M Dawson Ards 29.24
Women 50m Breaststroke Final: 1st F Doyle Portmarnock 31.71 2nd D Lowe Aer Lingus 32.41 3rd G Kane Bangor 33.49
Men 4x100m Freestyle Team Relay: 1st Ards 3:31.25 2nd Bangor 3:35.35 3rd Ennis 3:36.21
Women 4x100m Freestyle Team Relay: 1st Aer Lingus 4:00.51 2nd Sundays Well 4:08.75 3rd Larne 4:13.35
European Junior Championships, 9th – 13th July 2014, Dordrecht, Holland
Qualifiers: Dearbhail McNamara (100m & 200m Breaststroke), Niamh Kilgallen (100m & 200m Breaststroke), Gemma Kane (200m Butterfly)
Commonwealth Games, 23rd July – 4th August, Glasgow, Scotland
Qualifiers:Sycerika McMahon (50m, 100m, 200m Breaststroke, 400m Freestyle, 200m IM), Michael Dawson (50m Breaststroke), Curtis Coulter (100m Freestyle)
IPC European Swimming Championships, 4th – 10th August 2014, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Qualifiers: Ellen Keane (S9 100m Butterfly, 200m IM, SB8 100m Breaststroke), Laurence McGivern (S9 100m Backstroke), Jonathan McGrath (S8 400m Freestyle), Darragh McDonald (S6 400m Freestyle), James Scully (S5 200m Freestyle) Ailbhe Kelly (100m, 400m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke)
European LC Swimming & Open Water Championships, 13th- 24th August 2014, Berlin, Germany
Qualifiers: Brendan Hyland (200m Butterfly), Dan Sweeney (200m Breaststroke) Nicholas Quinn (200m Breaststroke) Barry Murphy (50m Breaststroke) Fiona Doyle (50m, 100m, 200m Breaststroke), Sycerika McMahon (50m, 100m, 200m Breaststroke, 200m IM), Christopher Bryan (Open Water)