April 03, 2018
Swim Ireland’s Irish Open Swimming Championships start this Wednesday (4th April) at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin where Irish swimmers will be hoping to qualify this summer’s European Senior and Junior Championships and World Youth Olympic Games Teams. The event will see 350 swimmers from 62 clubs, including a strong team of 50 from the USA National Club Swimming Association, compete across five days of competition for national titles in 34 individual and 7 relay events.
The Championships will run in tandem with the Commonwealth Games this year meaning 2017 National Title holders Conor Ferguson, Jordan Sloan, Danielle Hill, James Brown and Calum Bain as well as Jamie Graham, Curtis Coulter, David Thompson and Barry McClements will be competing on the Gold Coast starting on Thursday (5th April).
The Irish Open and Commonwealth Games will be the only opportunity for swimmers to post consideration times for the summer internationals.
Senior swimmers in Gold Coast and Dublin will be chasing times for the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow including Rio 2016 Olympians Nicholas Quinn and Shane Ryan and World Junior medallists Mona McSharry and Conor Ferguson.
Ireland’s junior swimmers will be looking to make the consideration times for the European Junior Championships in Finland and the World Youth Olympic Games in Argentina in September. 2017 European Junior semi-finalists Niamh Coyne, Rebecca Reid and Ellen Walshe are all eligible again in 2018.
Speaking ahead of the event Swim Ireland National Performance Director Jon Rudd commented "The Irish Open Swimming Championships is always an exciting event, deciding our National Champions for any one season. However, this year's event has additional emphasis placed upon it. In conjunction with our Northern Ireland athletes competing simultaneously at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, these five days form our sole Trials for our international teams in the summer. Coaches and athletes have been working together to ensure that they can prepare 'for the day that matters' - and this event in Dublin, alongside the Games on the Gold Coast is the beginning of that process. Irish athletes from home and abroad will descend on the new-look five-day competition to challenge for places on our summer teams. And so, we look forward to an exciting week of competition and to see who has what it takes to perform to their best and earn a place on our coveted international teams this summer"