August 03, 2018

Irish swimmers had a dramatic first day as the European Championships got underway in Glasgow today. Shane Ryan has secured a place in tomorrow’s 50m Backstroke Final after a record-breaking swim this morning and Conor Ferguson and Darragh Greene both came agonisingly close to finals places, a silver lining for Greene however as he became the first Irish swimmer to break the one-minute mark in the 100m Breaststroke.

After knocking four tenths of a second off his best time in this morning’s heats of the 50m Backstroke for a new Irish Record of 24.32, Ryan returned for the semi-finals where the 24-year-old clocked 24.57 to progress as fourth fastest into tomorrow’s final. The Rio 2016 Olympian is now a real contender for a medal tomorrow but will most definitely have to better this morning’s time of 24.32 to be in the mix.

Darragh Greene made Irish history in this evening’s 100m Breaststroke Semi-Final as the Longford man became the first swimmer to break the minute mark in the 100m Breaststroke in 59.92, the National Centre Dublin swimmers time was also a pre-validation for the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Korea. A fifth-place finish in the second semi-final saw Greene tie for 8th place overall with Russia’s Kirill Prigoda, a swim-off was then required to separate the two. Prigoda took the last place for tomorrows final in 59.39 with Greene settling as first reserve in 1:00.44.

Another barrier was broken this evening as Conor Ferguson went under 25 seconds for the first time in the first of the 50m Backstroke semi-finals. The 18-year-old clocked 24.99, finishing 5th in his heat and ninth overall, just missing a place in the final by three hundredths of a second. The time was a second Irish Junior Record of the day for the National Centre Dublin swimmer who will be the first reserve for tomorrow’s Final.

Earlier today, Ireland’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay of Ryan, David Thompson, Jordan Sloan and Robbie Powell swam an Irish Senior Record of 3:17.55. The quartet took almost two seconds off the 2017 record (3:19.39) to finish fourth in their heat and twelfth overall.

National Performance Director Jon Rudd was happy with the positive start from his team. “We’ve all talked a great deal around the notion of Irish swimmers needing to perform on the day that matters – and in the case of 2018, we have finished the first of seven of those days. And we couldn’t really have stood up stronger or more determined than we did today. Five swims in the heats with four of them lifetime bests. Four Irish records and three swims giving us second bites in semi-finals. Two of the three were then faster than the heats and we have to applaud Darragh becoming the first Irishman to break the minute for the long course 100m Breaststroke. If we continue in this vein, the week will be one to remember”.

Another busy day for Ireland tomorrow as four swimmers make their individual debuts at the Championships. Sloan and Powell will swim the 100m Freestyle, World Junior Champion Mona McSharry goes in the 100m Breaststroke and Irish record holder Brendan Hyland will compete in the 200m Butterfly.

Press releases will be issued daily.

LEN European Swimming & Diving Championships, 2nd - 12th August 2018, Glasgow, Scotland

Results Day 1 Heats/Semi-Finals:

Mens 50m Backstroke

Shane Ryan

H 24.32 ISR

SF 24.57 (4th)


Conor Ferguson

H 25.08 IJR

SF 24.99 (9th) IJR

Mens 100m Breaststroke

Darragh Greene

H 1:00.20 ISR

SF 59.92 (8th) ISR


Alex Murphy

H 1:02.49


Mens 4x100m Freestyle Relay


H 3:17.55 ISR



Schedule Day 2:

Mens 100m Freestyle

Jordan Sloan, Robbie Powell


 Womens 100m Breaststroke

Mona McSharry


Mens 200m Butterfly

Brendan Hyland