May 18, 2021

Sligo’s Mona McSharry will be Ireland’s third 2021 LEN European Aquatics Championships Finalist, having edged ever closer to her 100m Breaststroke Irish Senior Record in Tuesday night’s Semi-Final.

The 20-year-old clocked 1:06.97 in the morning heats, qualifying for the next round in joint 10th position. She bettered that performance in the Semi-Final, touching the wall in 1:06.42 to go sixth quickest and book her spot in Wednesday night’s Final.

McSharry has now swum under 1:07 in her 100m Breaststroke four times in the last four weeks, setting the Irish Senior Record of 1:06.29 at Irish National Team Trials in April, where she first achieved the Olympic Consideration Time for Tokyo 2021.

Speaking after her Semi-Final, McSharry said: “I feel great! If you had told me I would swim 1:06 this year, I’d have been over the moon, and now I’ve just done two 1:06 swims in a few hours and, I don’t want to say easily, but comfortable enough that I know I could do it again.

“It just gives me so much confidence in the build-up to the Olympics.”

McSharry already has a 2019 European Short Course Championships Bronze Medal in the 50m Breaststroke, but due to the pandemic has been unable to compete for Ireland on the international stage again until this week.

Speaking about what it’s like to be back, McSharry added: “It’s an indescribable feeling. Racing NCAAs in the US, I got a little bit of that feeling of racing on the big stage, but Europeans is different again and I think you forget just how good it is to be racing here.”

Earlier Larne’s Conor Ferguson became Ireland’s first Finalist of this championships when finishing seventh in the 50m Backstroke.

It was Ferguson’s first individual European Championships Final, and he surprised himself with the personal best time (24.81) that he set in the Semi-Final on Monday.

Ferguson said: “It was pretty cool to come out for that final tonight. I was probably a bit more tense than yesterday. This championships has a relay focus for Ireland, and my training has been based on the 100m and 200m, so this was a bit of a bonus for me.”

The winner Kliment Koleshinikov broke the World Record he set in Monday’s Semi-Final, which Ferguson also contested, and the performance of his long-time friend has inspired the 21-year-old.

“Me and Kliment have been competing against each other since we were 15, 16 years old,” Ferguson said. “It’s just rapid to be here to see him do that and it sets the bar to show you what’s possible.”

Ireland claimed their own record in the Mixed 4x200m Freestyle Relay as Brendan Hyland, Max McCusker, Naomi Trait, and Victoria Catterson clocked 7:50.41 to better the Irish Senior Record they set in the heats.

This was the first time Ireland had competed in the Mixed 4x200m Freestyle Relay, which is not included in the Olympic or World Championships schedule.

Wednesday morning will see Ireland’s much-anticipated Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay team in action with Finn McGeever, Jack McMillan, Gerry Quinn and Jordan Sloan on the start sheet.

The heats session begins at 9am, with Ireland swimming at 10:26. The finals begin at 5pm, with Mona McSharry swimming at 5.25pm.


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 (microplustiming.com)

IRISH SWIMMING SCHEDULE - LEN European Aquatics Championships 2021

Wednesday, May 19

10:26 Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay HEAT

(Final 18:52 if advancing)

17:25 Women’s 100m Breaststroke FINAL – Mona McSharry

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