December 17, 2021

World Silver Medallist Ellen Walshe returned to the Etihad Arena on Friday morning to set a new personal best in the heats of 200m Butterfly at the 15th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi.

Taking place from December 16-21, the Championships are world swimming’s finale of 2021 and the culmination of the short course (25m pool) season.

Ellen Walshe, who won Ireland’s second ever World swimming medal on Thursday evening when taking Silver in the 400m Individual Medley Final, set a new personal best time in the heats of 200m Butterfly when swimming 2:08.16 to better the 2:09.94 she set at the Irish National Short Course Championships in 2019.

She finished 14th and did not advance to the Final this afternoon, but will return on Saturday morning for the 50m Butterfly heats. A welcome return to sprint racing after two tough days of stellar performances in longer events.

Reflecting on her medal-winning performance in the 400m Individual Medley and the team’s successful start to the Championships, Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Jon Rudd said: “It was an exceptional day of racing for quite a number of the team and to have a medal at a World Championships from Ellen Walshe is great in so many respects

“It’s only the second medal that Ireland have ever won at a World Championships. It’s the first time we’ve won a medal at an Olympic event, and it’s the first time that a female athlete has won a medal.

“All of those are great things not just for her, but also for Irish swimming. Back at home, with Irish athletes in the second day of the Irish National Short Course Championships in Dublin right now, we hope that the performances here help inspire them to some great performances there too.

On Friday afternoon Mona McSharry will race in Ireland’s second Final of these Championships as she set a new 50m Breaststroke Irish Senior Record of 29.65 on Thursday to advance.

Rudd continued: “It was also great to see Mona navigate the rounds, get through to the Semi-Final and then on to the Final with a lifetime best and an Irish Senior Record. She puts herself in a great position to challenge for a medal tonight.

“There’ll be exciting things to come from her in the 100m Breaststroke, just as there will from Ellen Walshe in her other events and from a number of this team here racing for the first time at international level since the Olympic Games.

“I think the one thing that myself and the other staff here have noticed is, with every time we come to an international competition there’s a rising belief. There’s an extremely high professional standard and attitude amongst the team members, and that’s only good for Irish swimming going forwards.

“Some would say that the World Short Course Championships is not the biggest deal on the planet, and it isn’t because the long course (50m pool) season is the big cheese, it’s the thing we all aspire too, but it’s still a World Championships.

“There’s still the majority of the best swimmers in the World here, and for Ireland to swim the way that they are, and get through the rounds and set Irish Records and swim lifetimes bests, it’s fantastic for all of us and long may it last.”

Other Friday Heats News

Jack McMillan and Jordan Sloan finished 11th and 28th in the 200m Freestyle heats, clocking 1:43.13 and 1:46.50. Both could be part of the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay team on Sunday.

Danielle Hill’s second event at the Championships was 100m Freestyle, where she swam 54.98 to finish 31st in a stacked field. She does not race on Saturday, but will return on Sunday for 50m Backstroke and on Monday for 50m Freestyle.

Brendan Hyland also swam his second event of the competition, swimming 51.79 to finish in 35th in 100m Butterfly.

Friday Morning Heats Results:

200m Freestyle – Top 8 go to Final

Jack McMillan – 1:43.13 - 11th

Jordan Sloan – 1:46.50 - 28th

100m Freestyle – Top 16 go to Semi-Final

Danielle Hill – 54.98 – 31st

100m Butterfly – Top 16 go to Semi-Final

Brendan Hyland – 51.79 – 35th

200m Butterfly – Top 8 go to Final

Ellen Walshe – 2:08.16 – 14th

Friday Afternoon Schedule

14:42* Mona McSharry – 50m Breaststroke Final

Saturday Morning Heats Schedule – Starts 05:30

Ellen Walshe – 50m Butterfly

Mona McSharry – 100m Individual Medley

Calum Bain – 50m Freestyle

Sunday Morning Heats Schedule – Starts 05:30

Danielle Hill – 50m Backstroke

Mona McSharry & Niamh Coyne – 100m Breaststroke

Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay

*All times are Irish. Abu Dhabi = +4hrs

Find the full Irish schedule at Swim Ireland FINA World SC Swimming Championships 2021

Swim Ireland Team

2021 FINA World Championships (25m)

Abu Dhabi, UAE | December 16-21

Calum Bain - University of Stirling, Scotland - Coach: Bradley Hay

Niamh Coyne - National Centre (Dublin) - Coach: Ben Higson

Danielle Hill - Larne Swimming Club - Coach: Peter Hill

Brendan Hyland - National Centre (Dublin) - Coach: Ben Higson

Finn McGeever - National Centre (Limerick) - Coach: John Szaranek

Jack McMillan - National Centre (Ulster) - Coach: Davy Johnston

Mona McSharry - University of Tennessee, USA - Coach: Matt Kredich

Robert Powell - National Centre (Dublin) - Coach: Ben Higson

Jordan Sloan - National Centre (Ulster) - Coach: Davy Johnston

Ellen Walshe - University of Tennessee, USA - Coach: Matt Kredich

Daniel Wiffen - Loughborough University, England - Coach: Andi Manley