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Meegan Strikes Gold Again


From Swim Ireland Day two of the Irish National Long Course Swimming Championships resumed today at the National Aquatic Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin where a packed venue saw eight individual and two relay team National titles being contested. The NCSA All Star team from the USA continued to be a strong force in the water, challenging Ireland’s best swimmers.

After yesterday’s thrilling victory in the 1500m final, distance ace Andrew Meegan (8.15.40) representing Aer Lingus swimming club, dug in deep on the last few metres of an exciting Men’s 800m freestyle final to touch .35 seconds ahead of Clay Youngquist, NCSA (8.15.75) and take the National Irish title. The second Irish man home was Conor Turner, Aer Lingus SC and third was Christopher Bryan, Ennis SC.

Barry Murphy continued his impressive form from yesterday’s 50m breaststroke, this time in the longer 100m breaststroke event today, winning his semi-final swim in 1.03.10. Murphy also qualifies in top position for tomorrow evening’s final where he will be looking to reach the mark needed (1.02.47) to qualify him for European Championships which take place in Budapest in August.

European Women’s record holder for the 400m Individual Medley Hannah Miley, swimming for Scottish team Garioch demonstrated her world class calibre in the final of the Women’s 400m Individual Medley and finished ten seconds ahead of her next opponent. Miley’s finishing time was 4.41.61, second was Sycerika McMahon (4.51.65) who took the National title after her ongoing challenge with Courtney Otto of the NCSA All Star Team, who touched the wall in 4.51.88.

Twenty-year old Sean Leahy who trains in the UK but was representing Cork’s Dolphin SC this weekend won the National title in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley final (4.31.45), ahead of Castlebar’s Nicholas Quinn 4.39.86 and Andrew Meegan, Aer Lingus (4.41.71).

After claiming the National title yesterday in the 200m freestyle, Clare Dawson (Sterling) will be looking to make it a double when she competes as the number one qualifier for the Women’s 100m freestyle final tomorrow. Her semi-final swim this evening of 56.73 was .4 seconds outside her own Irish record swim. Also qualified for the final is Galway’s Dairne Ryan, Limerick’s Shauna Smith and Katie Reid from Lisburn City.

The Irish Long Course National Championships resumes tomorrow, with the heats starting at 9.00. Newly appointed Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin will be in attendance for the heats session.