Swimmers make European Championship Qualification Times

Swim Ireland’s Dave McCullagh Memorial Gala, which this year incorporates the Ulster International Gala and Junior Celtic Duel Meet, kicked off today at the new 50m pool at the Aurora Leisure Centre in Bangor, Co. Down.

The three day meet will see some of Ireland’s best swimmers compete at the first national event of 2014. The competition is serving as a qualifier for Commonwealth Games plus European Junior, Senior and Paralympic Championships taking place this summer. Ireland’s junior swimmers will also face off against their Scottish counterparts in the Junior Celtic Duel Meet.

There were a number of international qualifications on day 1 with Brendan Hyland making the 200m Butterfly European senior time and Dearbhail McNamara, Niamh Kilgallen and Gemma Kane swimming under European junior qualification times.

Hyland, the current Irish 200m Butterfly record holder swam a time of 1:59.45 to book his place at Europeans in Berlin in August and to claim the gold medal. The Swim Ireland NAC Performance Centre swimmer touched ahead of Nova’s Luke Howdle (2:00.53) and Stirlings Lewis Smith (2:03.24).

Niamh Kilgallen and Dearbhail McNamara, both swimming for Ireland, swam European Junior qualifications in this morning’s heats of the 100m Breaststroke with times of 1:12.78 and 1:12.83 respectively. McNamara was the best of the Irish swimmers in the final touching 3rd in 1:12.31 with Kilgallen 6th in 1:13.64.

GB Olympian Hannah Miley won both the women’s 200m Butterfly and 400m Individual Medley events. Miley’s time of 2:12.15 in the 200m Butterfly was over 5 seconds ahead of Nova’s Hannah Meek (2:19.35) and Ireland’s Clodagh Flood (2:19.88). Gemma Kane was 4th with a European junior qualification time of 2:20.40.

While in the 400m Individual Medley Final, an event in which Miley finished 5th at the 2013 World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, she was almost 20 seconds ahead of second place Amber Keegan (4:55.31) of Nova in 4:36.80. UCD’s Shani Stallard was Ireland’s fastest finalist finishing 4th in 4:57.66.

In the Men’s 50m Backstroke Loughborough SC’s Liam Knight beat Brian O’Sullivan of UCD finishing in a time of 26.55 with O’Sullivan touching in 27.05. In the women’s event Natasha Hofton of Nova SC took Gold in 29.32 with Danielle Hill, representing Ireland, second in 30.29.

Curtis Coulter of Ards SC was victorious in the men’s 100m Freestyle Final claiming the Gold medal in 50.98 while Natasha Hofton won her second gold of the night in the women’s 100m Freestyle in 57.02. Mark Kate McDowell was best of the Irish in the event in 58.37.

In the relay’s Loughborough were gold medallists in the men’s 400m Freestyle Relay touching in 3:29.70 just ahead of UCD Swim Team in 3:30.30 and Scotland (3:30.60). Scotland won the last event of the night, the women’s 4x200m Freestyle team relay ahead of Ireland D (8:34.93) and Ireland B (8:42.14) to take the lead in the Junior Celtic Duel Meet with a score of 62 to 43 after Day 1.

Competition continues tomorrow (Saturday).

Press Releases will be issued daily.

Full Results Day 1


Men 50m Backstroke Final: 1st L Knight Loughborough 26.55 2nd B O’Sullivan UCD 27.05 3rd C McLean Scotland 27.35 Women 50m Backstroke Final: 1st N Hofton Nova 29.32 2nd D Hill Ireland 30.29 3rd C Willis Loughborough 30.57 Men 100m Freestyle Final: 1st C Coulter Ards 50.98 2nd D Scott Scotland 51.47 3rd K Morgan Nova 52.06 Women 100m Freestyle Final: 1st N Hofton Nova 57.02 2nd K Stark Scotland 57.83 3rd S Caulfield Scotland 58.28 Men 200m Butterfly Final: 1st B Hyland Tallaght 1:59.45 2nd L Howdle Nova 2:00.53 3rd L Smith Stirling 2:03.24 Women 200m Butterfly Final: 1st Hannah Miley Garioch 2:12.15 2nd H Meek Nova 2:19.35 3rd C Flood Ireland 2:19.88 Men 100m Breaststroke Final: 1st A de Tullio CWSC 1:03.83 2nd P Tejes Nova 1:04.23 3rd M Dawson Ards 1:05.28 Women 100m Breaststroke Final: 1st K Buchan Stirling 1:11.41 2nd K Hanlon Scotland 1:11.93 3rd D McNamara Ireland 1:12.31 Men 1500m Freestyle Final: 1st J Ganner Stephenson Nova 15:56.13 2nd A Meegan Aer Lingus 15:56.54 3rd M Breckon Loughborough 15:58.71 Women 400m IM Final: 1st Hannah Miley Garioch 4:36.80 2nd A Keegan Nova 4:55.31 3rd O Adams Garioch 4:57.66 Men 4x100m Freestyle Team Relay: 1st Loughborough 3:29.70 2nd UCD 3:30.00 3rd Scotland 3:30.60 Women 4x200m Freestyle Team Relay: 1st Scotland 8:32.78 2nd Ireland D 8:34.93 3rd Ireland A 8:42.14


European Junior Championships, 9th – 13th July 2014, Dordrecht, Holland

Today’s Qualifiers: Dearbhail McNamara (100m Breaststroke), Niamh Kilgallen (100m Breaststroke), Gemma Kane (200m Butterfly)


European LC Swimming & Open Water Championships, 13th- 24th August 2014, Berlin, Germany

Today’s Qualifiers: Brendan Hyland (200m Butterfly)

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