PLUS reviews from Olympians Nicholas Quinn and Melanie Nocher

July 25, 2021

Sligo’s Mona McSharry has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 100m Breaststroke semi-final in ninth position, swimming a time that was within a tenth of a second of her Irish Senior Record during her Olympic debut appearance in Sundays morning’s heats.

The 20-year-old from Grange, who is now based at the University of Tennessee in the US, had never swum the event inside 1:07 before April 2021, but since then has consistently posted times in the 1:06 range, including today.

Finishing third in her heat and touching the wall in 1:06.39, she was agonisingly close to the Irish Senior Record that she set to qualify for Tokyo. The time was enough to move her up the rankings from 11th to 9th, with the top-eight in the semi-finals assured of a position in Tuesday’s Olympic Final.

McSharry was a senior LEN European Championships bronze medallist in 50m Breaststroke in the 25m pool in 2018, and was also a double gold medallist in the 100m Breaststroke at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships and LEN European Junior Championships.

Following the race, McSharry said: “I’m really excited. Watching Ellen [Walshe] yesterday and seeing the buzz she came back with kind of just pushed me on. It really is something else competing at the Olympics and I’m so glad I got the first race done now – and I’m so happy that I get to do another one.

“I really burned coming up the last 25m and I could see the Swiss girl on the right of me kind of catch me and I said, ‘no, she’s not going to pass me!’.”

Danielle Hill from Larne Swimming Club also made her Olympic debut this morning. She came third in her 100m Backstroke heat in a time of 1:00.86. Hill was just off her lifetime best time, but moved up two places in the rankings to finish 25th overall.

Facing a challenging preparation into the Games itself, Hill was unable to travel to the Hamamatsu training camp with the remainder of the team for medical reasons and her performance is very pleasing considering her arrival into Tokyo was not as smooth as originally planned.

Hill will be back at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Friday to compete in the 50m Freestyle heats.

Full results: Olympic Schedule & Results - 25 Jul | Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Schedule, Monday – July 26

02:56 Mona McSharry – 100m Breaststroke Semi-Final – PB 1:06.29

11:29 Brendan Hyland – 200m Butterfly (Heat 2) – PB 1:56.55

11:45 Ellen Walshe – 200m Individual Medley (Heat 4) – PB 2:21.02

Irish Olympians Review Today's Swimming

Irish Olympians Review Today's Swimming

Rio 2016 Olympian Nicholas Quinn and double Olympian Melanie Nocher were screaming at the TV earlier as Mona McSharry and Danielle Hill made their Olympic debuts!

Find out what they thought of their performances via the link below.

Swim Ireland Tokyo Reviews