Irish Olympic Trials End With Five Swimmers Having Made Paris Cut

Daniel Wiffen: photo courtesy: G.Perottino/Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Irish Olympic Trials End With Five Swimmers Having Made Paris Cut

Swim Ireland’s Irish Open Championships and Olympic Trials concluded on Sunday with five swimmers having made the cut for Paris 2024 across nine events.

Following the five-day meet at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre, Danielle Hill and Tom Fannon added their name to the list along with Ellen Walshe, Daniel Wiffen and Mona McSharry who’d already qualified for the Games in the French capital.

Ireland have also qualified a women’s and a men’s 4x100m medley relay with selection to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

As well as Olympic QTs, 22 swimmers achieved consideration times for the European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, next month while seven Irish senior and eight Irish junior records were set.

Swimming World November 2021 - Q&A with Swim Ireland's National Performance Director Jon Rudd 2

Jon Rudd: Picture Courtesy: Swim Ireland

Speaking at the conclusion of the Championships, Swim Ireland Performance Director Jon Rudd said:

“After what has arguably been the best five days of domestic swimming racing that this island has seen, we can all feel highly satisfied with where Irish swimming is right now.

“World Aquatics raised the bar quite considerably after Tokyo 2021 as to what it takes to be an Olympian, and we have a group of athletes who responded to this – some making the grade, and some agonisingly close – the smallest of margins – with seven Irish Senior Records and eight Irish Junior Records written and re-written across these days, the moments that matter.

“We have a strong Olympic team and European Championships team that will come out of this final Trials, and we can look forward to those announcements in the days to come – followed swiftly by a highly charged and exciting summer for Irish aquatics.”

On Sunday, Shane Ryan once again came close to the Olympic Qualification Time of 48.34 in the 100m Freestyle Final.

Swimming in front of a packed National Aquatic Centre Ryan swam 48.66, just outside the Irish record of 48.49 he swam on Saturday.

Ryan claimed gold ahead of Evan Bailey (49.58), who set a new Irish junior record of 49.40 in the event on Saturday, and 100m Butterfly champion Max McCusker (49.98).

In the Men’s 1500m freestyle final Nathan Wiffen swam a brilliant 14sec lifetime best to blow away the rest of the field.

Wiffen had entered the competition with a best time of 15:21.11 and lowered that to 15:06.48 to win the national title in a new Championship record (15:07.07) and consideration time for the European Championships.

The 22-year-old was just outside the Olympic Qualification Time of 15:00.99.

Danielle Hill

Danielle Hill: Photo Courtesy: Swim Ireland

Hill came within 0.01 of her Irish standard in the 50 back, clocking 27.65 ahead of UCDs Jena Macdougald (29.03) with bronze going to 100m and 200m champion Lottie Cullen of National Centre Ulster in 29.43.

Walshe, who secured an Olympic Qualification Time in the morning’s heats of the 400IM in 4:38.05, cruised to victory in this evening’s final in 4.43.62.

John Shortt claimed his second national title of the week, adding 50m backstroke gold to the 200m gold he won on Saturday night.

Shortt clocked 25.80 ahead of Coolmine’s Gavin Keogh (26.11) and NAC’s Matthew Walsh Hussey (26.33).

Banbridge’s Adam Wilson claimed his first national title in the men’s 400IM in 4:38.40.

The smallest of margins separated Victoria Catterson and Grace Davison in a great battle in the 200m freestyle final.

Catterson, of National Centre Dublin, got the touch in 2:00.62, just one hundredth of a second ahead of Ards’ Davison in 2:00.63. National Centre Limerick’s Maria Godden was third in 2:04.95.

Earlier in the evening Davison had won gold and the national title in the 50m freestyle. The 16-year-old won in 26.02 ahead of UCD’s Macdougald and Sundays Wells’ Eva Harrington (26.78).

In the 200m butterfly National Centre Limerick’s Jack Cassin was the only swimmer under the two-minute mark, in 1:59.84.

Eoin Corby and Darragh Greene went head-to head for the national title in the men’s 200m breaststroke.

Corby, of National Centre Limerick got the touch in 2:11.37, just ahead of National Centre Dublin’s Greene in 2:11.95 as ESB’s Jack Kelly won bronze in 2:13.11.

In the women’s 200m breaststroke, Ellie McCartney won her second gold medal, adding to her 200IM gold from earlier in the week. McCartney of National Centre Limerick touched in a European Championships consideration time of 2:29.20 ahead of National Centre Dublin’s Niamh Coyne (2:30.46) and Limerick’s Olwyn Cooke (2:32.70).

Ellen Walshe of Ireland reacts after competing in the 200m Individual Medley Women Semifinal during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 23rd, 2023.

Ellen Walshe: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Holly McInerney, who won 1500m silver and 400m freestyle bronze, completed her collection of medals with gold in the 800m  free.

The Templeogue swimmer touched in 9:16.34 ahead of Bangor’s Eva Hand (9:21.09) and Kilkenny’s Nessa Godden (9:25.62).

Winner in the 200IM, Lachey Reed of Bangor added the 50m breaststroke title on Sunday.

Reed clocked 29.05, just one hundredth of a second ahead of Terenure’s Liam O’Connor in 29.06, while London 2012 Olympian and Guinness SC swimmer Barry Murphy was third in 29.87.

In the Women’s 50m breaststroke, Sunday’s Wells’ Isabelle Kidney topped the podium in 32.31, Portmarnock’s Ava Jones was second in 32.37 with National Centre Limerick’s Eimear Doyle third in 32.52.

The final event of the Championships, the 50m butterfly, saw Dylan Registe claim the men’s title in 24.61 while in the women’s final Ards’ Emma Reid and UCD’s Macdougald shared gold with both touching in 27.92.

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7 days ago

I hope the Irish win Gold in the Men’s 1500m freestyle at Paris. That’d be truly amazing!

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