DUBLIN, Ireland, April 26. TWO national records fell in the men's 400 IM and another in the men's 800 free today at the Irish nationals, while Hungarian Katinka Hosszu uncharacteristically swam just one event in tonight's finals.
Brendan Hyland, 18, not only broke the Irish national record of 4:27.96 held by Niall Wynn since 2011, he took down the junior record of 4:33.22. held by Tommy Bergin. Hyland finished second in the 400 IM final behind Egyptian Ahmed Akram Abbas, who posted a 4:26.34 and broke the Egyptian national record of 4:2723 that was set just last February by Mohamed Gadallah. Abbas and Hyland battled throughout each of the four strokes, with neither able to pull away and regain a strong lead through the race. Placing third was Egypt's Ahmed Hamdy Salem with a 4:29.95.
A day after setting a national record in the 1500 freestyle, Andrew Meegan was back in the 800 free final, winning the race with an 8:10.65.He lowered his own national record of 8:13.81 from 2009. Conor Turner, 18, made Meegan's win bittersweet, as he took down Meegan's junior national record of 8:20.00 with a runner-up time of 8:19.15. Brendan Gibbons placed third with an 8:22.59.
Hosszu, who broke the legendary Hungarian record in the 100 back yesterday held by Olympic champion Krisztina Egerszegi, scratched from the finals of that event and focused solely on the 400 IM. As the 2009 400 IM world champion, Hosszu will be looking to return to the podium in that event this summer in Barcelona. Her time of 4:38.67 is her fastest of the year, and puts her seventh in the 2013 world rankings. Sycerika McMahon settled for yet another second-place finish behind Hosszu with a time of 4:48.38 and Rowida Hesham was third with a 5:02.64.
In other finals action, Mary-Kate McDowell won the women's 800 free with a 9:01.61, out-touching Egypt's Reem Kasem, who swam a 9:01.98. Antoinette Neamt was third with a 9:11.36.
In the men's 100 back final, Brian O'Sullivan posted a 57.63 for the win, ahead of David Prendergast (59.24) and Jordan Sloan (59.45). In Hosszu's absence, Jane Roberts won the women's 100 backstroke with a 1:04.22, with Laoise Fleming second with a 1:05.71 and Bethy Firth third with a 1:05.76.
Egypt took the top spots in the men's and women's 50 butterfly finals. Shehab Younies just missed the Egyptian national record of 24.61, winning with a 24.63 ahead of teammate Marwan Adel's 24.69 and Steven McQuillan's 25.15. Farida Osman won the women's event with a 27.93 after posting a 26.86 in semifinals. She beat out Aisling Cooney, who was second with a 28.59 and Shauna O'Brien, who swam a 28.89.
After a stellar swim in yesterday's 50 breast final that put him in the top 10 globally, Barry Murphy posted a 1:01.42 in today's 100 breast semifinal. He will be looking for the FINA automatic qualifying time of 1:00.86 to leave no doubt about swimming the race in Barcelona. Well back in second and third were Nicholas Quinn (1:04.23) and Dan Sweeney (1:04.49).
Other top qualifiers in tonight's semifinals races were: Egypt's Adham Abdelmeged (men's 100 free, 50.96), McMahon (women's 100 free, 56.84) and Fiona Doyle (women's 100 breast, 1:08.80).