|Ireland’s swimmers get their European Championships campaign underway in Copenhagen this Wednesday with nine of the ten in action on the opening day of competition.|
The European Short Course (25m) Championships, featuring 548 athletes from 46 nations, will take place in a purpose-built pool at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen from Wednesday 13th to Sunday 17th December.
Athlone’s Brendan Hyland and Calum Bain will be the first Irish competitors in action in the 100m Butterfly on Wednesday followed by World Junior Champion Mona McSharry in the 50m Breaststroke.
2015 50m Breaststroke Bronze medallist at the event Alex Murphy will swim the heats of that event with Rio 2016 Olympian Nicholas Quinn and World University Games finalist and Longford man Darragh Greene, while Jordan Sloan will swim the 400m Freestyle. Sloan will be feeling confident this week after securing a nomination time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 200m Freestyle on Saturday. World Junior silver medallist Conor Ferguson competes in the 200m Backstroke.
Danielle Hill is the fastest Irish female ever to swim in the short course pool as she takes on the 100m Backstroke as her first event. Hill was in fine form this past weekend winning four titles, setting a new Irish Record and securing Commonwalth Games nomination time at the Ulster Championships. With Hill and McSharry on the team, it means that Ireland will have a Mixed 200m Medley Relay competing for the first time at senior level to sit alongside our Male 200m Medley Relay.
Speaking ahead of the Championships Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Jon Rudd commented “It’s exciting for us to take our ‘Copenhagen 10’ into the 2017 European Short Course Championships. It will be interesting to see how our high-flying juniors Mona McSharry and Conor Ferguson convert into a senior environment and one where starts and turns become as important if not more important than the swimming itself.
We’re missing Shane Ryan which is a shame and we’re looking forward to seeing him back racing in 2018 once the long course season kicks in. Calum Bain looked sharp in Amsterdam a few weeks ago and both Darragh Greene and Alex Murphy are starting to push Irish male sprint breaststroke into new realms and places for the Medley relay will be hot with the breaststrokers and butterfliers vying for positions from their individual performances.
Whatever the case, it will be fast, it will be furious and we have one clear target for each of our guys: swim lifetime bests in the short course pool and let’s see if that finds you in the semis or the finals. There’s not much more you can ask of any athlete and we have a team that has very much bought into the ‘lifetime best performance when it matters’ mantra. This isn’t the Olympic Games. But it’s a great chance to be fast and feel good about yourself going into 2018 and a European LC Championships season”
Past Irish medalists at the European Short Course Championships include Olympians Andrew Bree, Melanie Nocher, Grainne Murphy, Sycerika McMahon and Barry Murphy.
Day 1 Schedule Heats (8.30am Ireland)
Wednesday 13th December
100m Butterfly Conor Brines, Brendan Hyland
50m Breaststroke Mona McSharry
50m Breaststroke Alex Murphy, Darragh Greene, Nicholas Quinn
400m Freestyle Jordan Sloan
100m Backstroke Danielle Hill
200m Backstroke Conor Ferguson