DUBLIN, Ireland, April 25. ANDREW Meegan's national record in the 1500 freestyle highlighted the first day of competition at the Irish nationals, while the Hungarian Energizer Bunny, Katinka Hosszu, won two events.
Meegan took the top spot in the mile with a 15:38.14, breaking his national record of 15:42.33 that he set last year. Meegan began to distance himself from Brendan Gibbons at the 600-meter mark, with Gibbons picking up second place with a 15:58.60. Conor Turner placed third with a 16:00.80.
Hosszu's wins today came in the 200 free and 200 fly. After posting a lifetime best 1:57.59 in prelims, she cruised to the win with a 1:59.57, outpacing Sycerika McMahon's 2:01.96 and Bethany Carson's 2:03.61. In the 200 fly, Hosszu got the better of McMahon again, with the Hungarian posting a 2:12.24. Hosszu has been faster this season, with a 2:10.24 to her credit from the Arena Grand Prix two weeks ago in Mesa. McMahon placed second with a 2:16.52, while Sarah Kelly was third with a 2:19.36.
Hosszu also added a quick 1:00.24 in the 100 backstroke semifinals before her 200 free/200 fly double, setting herself up to potentially become the seventh person to dip under the 1:00 barrier this year. Her time right now puts her in a tie with Anastasia Zueva for seventh in the world rankings. More impressively, the time breaks the Hungarian national record of 1:00.31, set by Olympic legend Krisztina Egerszegi at the 1991 European championships.
In other finals action, Reem Kasem took the women's 1500 freestyle with a 17:07.67, well ahead of Matra Ruiz Dominguez (17:33.80) and Lisa Comerford (17:54.21). Sean Leahy used a strong final 50 meters to pull ahead for the win in the men's 200 free with a 1:51.91, with Seamus Stacey settling for second with a 1:52.76, and Great Britain's Matthew Parks right behind for third with a 1:52.84.
Brendan Hyland chased his national record of 1:59.92 in the men's 200 butterfly, falling short with a winning time of 2:00.33. Egypt's Ahmed Akram Abbas placed second with a 2:01.73 and David O'Sullivan was third with a 2:03.73.
Barry Murphy put up a 27.70 in the men's 50 breaststroke semifinals then followed it up with a 27.53 in finals, placing himself seventh in the global rankings. He's not too far off his national record of 27.26 from the 2009 world championships. Euan Inglis qualified second for finals with a 28.94, while Ihab El far was third with a 29.12.
Fiona Doyle captured the women's 50 breast final with a 31.89, while Egypt's Mai Atef was second with a 33.01 and Niamh Kilgallon was third with a 33.85.
In the men's 100 backstroke semifinals, Brian O'Sullivan topped the qualifiers with a 57.90, ahead of Benjamin Doyle (1:00.03) and Mark Keaveney (1:00.09).
The Ards team of Curtis Coulter, Joel Kelly, James Brown and Conor Munn set an Irish junior record in winning the men's 400 free relay with a 3:31.28. UCD was second with a 3:37.90 and Aer Lingus took third with a 3:38.24. UCD captured the win in the women's 400 free relay with a 3:59.38, with Kilkenny second in 4:05.27 and Lisburn third with a 4:05.63.