May 17, 2021

Larne’s Conor Ferguson on Monday night booked his spot in the 50m Backstroke Final at the LEN European Aquatics Championships in a Semi Final that achieved a new World Record.

The 21-year-old posted a time of 25.21 in the 50m Backstroke heats, earning lane one in the second Semi-Final. He was fastest of all off the start in that event, powering home to finish fourth in a personal best of 24.81s. The winner, Kliment Koleshnikov, set a new World Record of 23.93.

Ferguson’s performance was enough to see him advance to Tuesday night’s Final in sixth position.

Ferguson said: “I was really happy with my swim today and I just want to say a massive thanks for all the support that I get from back home.”

Longford’s Darragh Greene was also in Semi-Final action, swimming 1:00.26 in 100m Breaststroke. That was not enough to advance to the final this time, but he is expected in action again this week in 200m Breaststroke and could feature in Ireland’s Men’s and Mixed 4x100m Medley Relays.

Ireland’s bid for Olympic swimming relay qualification got off to a good start on Monday morning when the Men’s and Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay teams set new Irish Senior Records.

The Women’s quartet of Mona McSharry, Danielle Hill, Victoria Catterson and Erin Riordan swam 3:44.37, lowering the record set in 2009 by almost three seconds. They finished fifth in their heat and 12th overall.

In the Men’s event, Jack McMillan, Jordan Sloan, Shane Ryan and Max McCusker came home in 3:16.88, bettering the time that was set by McMillan, Sloan, Ryan and Robbie Powell at the 2019 World Championships.

They also finished 12th, meaning that neither relay team advanced to the Final, but both did advance their chances of qualifying for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games.

As well as Ferguson’s 50m Backstroke Final, Tuesday’s Irish schedule also includes Mona McSharry in 100m Breaststroke and a first ever Irish appearance in the Mixed 4x200m Freestyle Relay. The team consists of Max McCusker, Brendan Hyland, Naomi Trait, and Victoria Catterson.

This event is not included in the Olympic or World Championships schedule, but should whet the appetite for what's to come from Ireland in Wednesday's Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay - an event in which Ireland finished 16th at the 2019 World Championships

The heats begin at 9am Irish time tomorrow, with the finals starting at 5pm. You can watch all the swimming in Budapest live online via the links below.

LIVESTREAMS: RTE Player | Eurovision Livestream | LEN Livestream

For all results, please visit European Championships 2020 | Budapest (

IRISH SWIMMING SCHEDULE - LEN European Aquatics Championships 2021

Tuesday, May 18

Women's 100m Breaststroke - Mona McSharry

Mixed 4x200m Freestyle Relay

Men's 50m Backstroke FINAL - Conor Ferguson

Wednesday, May 19

Men's 200m Breaststroke - Darragh Greene

Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay

Thursday, May 20

Men's 50m Butterfly - Paddy Johnston

Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay

Friday, May 21

Men's 50m Breaststroke - Eoin Corby

Men's 800m Freestyle - Daniel Wiffen

Saturday, May 22

Women's 50m Breaststroke - Niamh Coyne

Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay

Sunday, May 23

Men's 4x100m Medley Relay

Women's 4x100m Medley Relay

Irish Swimming Team for the LEN European Aquatics Championships 2021

Brendan Hyland– National Centre (Dublin)

Conor Ferguson– Larne Swimming Club

Daniel Wiffen– Loughborough University

Danielle Hill– Larne Swimming Club

Darragh Greene– National Centre (Dublin)

Ellen Walshe– Templeogue Swimming Club

Eoin Corby– National Centre (Limerick)

Erin Riordan– National Centre (Dublin)

Finn McGeever– National Centre (Limerick)

Gerry Quinn– National Centre (Limerick)

Jack McMillan– Bangor Swimming Club

Jordan Sloan– Bangor Swimming Club

Max McCusker– Florida State University

Mona McSharry– University of Tennessee

Naomi Trait– Kilkenny Swimming Club

Niamh Coyne– National Centre (Dublin)

Paddy Johnston– Ards Swimming Club

Robbie Powell– National Centre (Dublin)

Shane Ryan– National Centre (Dublin)

Victoria Catterson– Ards Swimming Club