December 16, 2021

Irish Olympian Ellen Walshe on Thursday morning won her 400m Individual Medley heat in an Irish Senior Record time to book her spot in the Final at the 15th FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi.

Taking place at the Etihad Arena, the Championships are world swimming’s finale of 2021 and the culmination of the short course (25m pool) season.

The Dublin swimmer, based at University of Tennessee in the US, was always in the first two in the outside lane nine and came through to beat Canada’s Bailey Andison in 4:30.78.

The time smashed the previous Irish Senior Record of 4:36.84 set by Michelle Smith in 1994. This was the oldest Irish Senior Record in swimming and has sat on the books for 27 years. She will swim again in the Final on Thursday at 14:49 Irish time.

Ellen Walshe said: “It feels really good. It was a really strong swim. I went at it from the start, so I’m happy with it. We have a little bit of a crowd and it definitely makes a difference. I just did my own thing from the inside lane.”

McSharry into Breaststroke Semi-Final

Olympic finalist Mona McSharry came close to her Irish Senior Record on Thursday morning when advancing to the 50m Breaststroke Semi Finals.

McSharry already owns a LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships Bronze Medal in this event from the 2019 edition of that competition in Glasgow. She set the current Irish Senior Record of 29.87 in that final.

Finishing fourth overall in the heats today, she posted 29.90. This was her first race for Ireland since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer, where she finished eighth overall in 100m Breaststroke.

Mona McSharry said: “I haven’t raced at a Worlds in quite a while now. That’s a really good race to set me up. It felt great. I love the buzz, so I’m just excited to see what comes next.”

On the Etihad Arena, laid-out temporarily as a swimming venue for this meet, she added: “It’s beautiful, little bit cold, but that just means you have to be more prepared and bring a few more layers.

Relay finishes 9th

Calum Bain, Brendan Hyland, Jack McMillan and Jordan Sloan almost gave Ireland a second final at the Championships, clocking 3:12.94 to finish 9th in the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay - first reserve spot for the final.

They missed out on a place in the Final by just 0.2 of a second.

Moments before his relay effort, National Centre Ulster’s Jack McMillan won his 200m Individual Medley Heat in 1:57.13 – narrowly missing Brendan Hyland’s Irish Senior Record time: 1:56.74.

On a busy morning for Swim Ireland, Tipperary’s Finn McGeever, who trains at Swim Ireland’s National Centre Limerick, opened the team’s Championships with 3:52.34 in the 400m Freestyle heats.

He finished 45th overall and is likely to be part of the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay on Sunday. This is the event in which he made is Olympic debut this summer at Tokyo 2020. The first ever Irish men’s swimming relay at an Olympic Games, and the first Irish Olympic swimming relay of any kind in 49 years.

Thursday, December 16 – FINALS (All times Irish)

Mona McSharry - 50m Breaststroke – 14:21

Ellen Walshe - 400m Individual Medley – 14:49

Friday, December 17 – Heats – Starts 05:30

Jack McMillan & Jordan Sloan - 200m Freestyle

Danielle Hill - 100m Freestyle

Brendan Hyland - 100m Butterfly

Ellen Walshe - 200m Butterfly

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