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Positive Start for Irish in Turkey


from Swim Ireland The Irish swim team’s campaign at the LEN Short Course European Swimming Championships got off to a positive start this morning, with 6 new Irish records (3 Junior and 3 Senior) being established. Among the record holders was Limerick High Performance Centre swimmer Grainne Murphy who clocked a 2.14.06 in her 200m Individual Medley, finishing in 21st place overall with a new Junior record.

Michael Dawson showed solid form in the 100m breaststroke, splitting a time of 28.37 for the first 50m leg (lowering his own previous Junior record) and then going on to finish in a new personal best and Irish Junior record time of 1.00.96 – knocking over 2 seconds off Andrew Bree’s previous record mark.

The Men’s 4x50m medley team relay quartet of Donal O’Neill, Michael Dawson, Steven McQuillan and Conor Leaney recorded a time of 1.38.84, shaving 2 seconds off the previous Senior record which was set in 2003. O’Neill, who set the pace on the first leg (backstroke) with a new Irish Senior record (24.81) also swam the backstroke leg of the record-breaking relay back in 2003.

Other Irish swims this morning came from Aisling Cooney and Melanie Nocher in the 100m backstroke; finishing in 1.00.35 and 1.00.85 respectively. Steven McQuillan had a strong performance in the 100m butterfly (54.06, new Irish Senior Record). Conor Leaney’s first race of the Championships was the 400m freestyle, in which he finished in 3.55.01. Clare Dawson (55.24), Niamh O’Sullivan (58.08), Melanie Nocher (55.66) and Aisling Cooney (56.41) raced in the 100m freestyle, completing the individual line-up for the Irish on day one.

Speaking from Istanbul Peter Banks, National Performance Director and Lead Coach for the Championships commented: “Today was a good start to the 4 day meet; we had good results with 6 Irish records being set and we’re moving up the rankings. Tomorrow and over the next few days though we’ll really be looking to improve on times so that we can qualify for the semis [semi-finals] and finals, as that is our ultimate goal.”

Irish Swimmers in action tomorrow are: Donal O’Neill (50m backstroke), Conor Leaney and Steven McQuillan (100m freestyle), Grainne Murphy and Nuala Murphy (800m freestyle) and the Women’s 4x50m freestyle team relay.