The 2013 Irish National Championships began Thursday with a National Record at the hands of 22-year old Andrew Meegan in the men’s 1500 free. He swam a 15:38.14 in the first final of the meet. That breaks his own record of 15:42.33 that was set at last year’s British Youth Championships, and gives him a consideration mark for the World University Games.
While his National Record was surely exciting, the story that really got the crowd going at this meet was yet another appearance from Hungarian ironwoman Katinka Hosszu, as the Irish swimming community buzzed on social media throughout the day of the presence of the World Champion. This is another meet in what has been a marathon meet for Hosszu that has seen her swim massive schedules up to 3-4 weekends a month: a significantly larger racing schedule than we’ve seen from any swimmer of this level in recent memory.
At this meet, the first day for Hosszu saw the 200 free and the 200 fly. Despite what has to be a relatively limited traditional training schedule (given how much time she’s spent travelling and competing), Hosszu crushed her own lifetime best in prelims of the 200 free with a 1:57.59. She followed that up with a 1:59.57 in finals, ahead of Irish star Sycerika McMahon (2:01.96).
Hosszu went on in finals to win the 200 fly in 2:12.24, again bettering McMahon and her 2:16.52. She added to that a 1:00.24 in prelims of the 100 back before scratching in finals, though she likely would’ve won the race easily against a field that didn’t have any swimmers over the age of 17. That’s another lifetime best – by a second-and-a-half – on this da, and also breaks the Hungarian Record set by legendary 5-time Olympic Champion Krisztina Egerszegi
Other stars swimming on the first day include 18-year old butterflier Brendan Hyland. He swam a 2:00.33 to win, though that came up short of his National Record and best time set last year as well as it did short of the World University Games qualifying mark. Barry Murphy won the 50 breaststroke in 27.53, which pushes him into the top 10 in the world this year.
Canadian-trained breaststroker Fiona Doyle won the women’s race in 31.89.
Qualifying for the World Championships are only in Olympic events, though with qualifying not limited to this championship Sycerika McMahon has already been named to the team. Nobody was added at this meet; see the World Championship and World University Games qualifying standards here.