April 19, 2022

Swim Ireland’s Irish Open Swimming Championships got underway today at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, the first such Championships since 2019. The 5-day event see’s almost four hundred swimmers from seventy-four clubs compete for national titles in thirty-four individual events and places on seven Irish National Teams.

A number of Ireland’s up and coming swimmers impressed on the opening day with qualification times met for the European Junior Championships and the European Youth Olympic Festival while Danielle Hill continued her dominance as Ireland’s fastest ever female swimmer.

Grace Hodgins and Robbie Powell took the first national titles of the week in the 400m Freestyle. 17-year-old Hodgins of Trojan Swimming Club impressed in her maiden win, meeting the consideration standard for the European Junior Championships on her way to the gold medal in 4:24.40. Ards’ Grace Davison, who finished fourth in the final, met a consideration time for the European Youth Olympic Festival in this morning’s heats. Powell clocked 3:59.02 in the men’s final, a personal best for the National Centre Dublin swimmer, and was the only one to break the four-minute mark.

For the first time in 10 years Ireland had a new champion in the 200m Butterfly. Since 2013 Tokyo Olympian Brendan Hyland has won both the 100m and 200m Butterfly national titles. Today, 21-year-old Paddy Johnston, topped the podium in 2 minutes flat for his first national title, and just minutes later, the Ards swimmer won 50m Backstroke Gold in 26.06. In that 200m Butterfly Final Sunday’s Wells’ Liam Custer claimed silver in a consideration time of 2:01.09 for the European Junior Championships.

Danielle Hill continues her reign as Ireland’s fastest ever female swimmer after she won the 50m Freestyle in a new meet record of 25.30. The Tokyo Olympian was just .11 off her Irish Record of 25.19 and knocked .24 off the 2018 meet record of 25.54 held by Mona McSharry.

In the Men’s 100m Breaststroke, there was a battle between Eoin Corby, Uiseann Cooke and Darragh Greene for Gold. National Centre Limerick’s Corby was the victor in 1:01.53, Cooke claimed silver in 1:01.83 while Greene, returning from a prolonged break after the Olympic Games, was third in 1:02.08.

Templeogue Swim Teams Molly Mayne won her first national title in the 100m Butterfly. Mayne powered through in the final fifty metres touching the wall in 1:01.96 ahead of Sharon Semchiy (1:03.07) of Sundays Well and National Centre Ulster’s Ellie McKibbin (1:03.40).

Competition continues tomorrow through to Saturday.

Day 1 Results

Men 400m Freestyle Final: 1st R Powell Athlone 3:59.02 2nd N Wiffen Larne 4:00.81 3rd J Fleming Lisburn 4:04.13

Women 400m Freestyle Final: 1st G Hodgins Trojan 4:24.40 2nd A Kane Ards 4:26.43 3rd Ella Carroll National Centre Limerick 4:27.56.

Men 100m Breaststroke Final: 1st E Corby National Centre Limerick 1:01.53 2nd U Cooke Tuam 1:01.89 3rd D Greene National Centre Dublin 1:02.08

Women 100m Butterfly Final: 1st M Mayne Templeogue 1:01.96 2nd S Semchiy Sundays Well 1:03.07 3rd E McKibbin National Centre Ulster 1:03.40

Men 200m Butterfly Final: 1st P Johnston Ards 2:00.00 2nd L Custer Sundays Well 2:01.09 3rd E Hansen Trojan 2:01.64

Women 50m Freestyle Final: 1st D Hill Larne 25.30 MR 2nd E Riordan National Centre Dublin 25.59 3rd G Davison Ards 26.97

Men 50m Backstroke Final: 1st P Johnston Ards 26.06 2nd M Walsh Hussey NAC 27.31 3rd J Shortt BlueFin 27.44

International Swimming Events Summer 2022

2022 LEN European Championships (50m), Rome, Italy, August 11th – 17th

(Senior summer benchmark meet for Republic of Ireland athletes)

Pre-selected athletes - Danielle Hill, Mona McSharry, Ellen Walshe, Darragh Greene, Brendan Hyland, Finn McGeever, Jack McMillan, Shane Ryan, Daniel Wiffen.

Diving consideration standard met: Clare Cryan, Ciara McGing

2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, July 29th – August 3rd

(Senior summer benchmark meet for Northern Ireland athletes)

Pre-selected athletes – Danielle Hill, Daniel Wiffen, Jack McMillan, Tanya Watson (Diving)

2022 FINA World Championships (50m) in Budapest, Hungary, June 18th – July 3rd

(Used as preparation meet only for swimming, athletes may not attend)

Pre-qualified athletes – Daniel Wiffen, Jack McMillan, Mona McSharry. Ellen Walshe, Calum Bain, Shane Ryan, Danielle Hill

Diving consideration standard met: Clare Cryan, Ciara McGing

2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal, June 18th – 22nd

Minimum Qualification Standard met: Ellen Keane, Nicole Turner, Roisin NiRiain, Barry McClements, Amy Sheridan

2022 LEN European Junior Championships in Otopeni, Romania, July 5th – 10th

(The junior summer benchmark meet for athletes of this age banding)

Grace Hodgins, Liam Custer

2022 EOC European Youth Olympic Festival in Banka Bystrica, Slovakia, July 25th – 29th

(The junior summer benchmark meet for athletes of this age banding)

Grace Davison

2022 FINA World Junior Championships in Lima, Peru, August 30th – September 4th

NOTE: The Open will be the final opportunity for swimmers to post consideration times for this summer’s international events including the World and European Championships, World Para Swimming Championships, Commonwealth Games (Northern Ireland), World and European Junior Championships and the European Youth Olympic Festival.

In 2019, we introduced the notion of ‘pre-validation’ for our blue-chip senior international meet of the season. With COVID leaving us with a degree of uncertainty after Tokyo, we pre-selected Olympic athletes for European Championships (Rome) and/or Commonwealth Games (Birmingham), particularly as the World Championships in May at that time made the calendar very congested. This World Championships in Fukuoka was subsequently cancelled and then later re-instated by FINA in June in Budapest, and as such will not be a benchmark meet for us this season. Athletes can add themselves to the roster for Birmingham and Rome at this competition, and indeed for Budapest if they wish to utilise it as a preparation meet for later in the summer.