2018 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, December 11th – Sunday, December 16th
- Hangzhou, China
- Tennis Centre, Hangzhou Olympic & International Expo Center
- Live Results (Omega)
Team Ireland capped off a monumental Short Course World Championships by breaking a long-standing record in the men’s 4x100m medley relay. The combination of Conor Ferguson, Darragh Greene, Brendan Hyland and Shane Ryan collectively clocked a time of 3:27.23, shattering the previous record of 3:45.66 by 18 seconds.
The preceeding Irish Record was set way back in 1991 and represented the oldest men’s Irish short course record remaining. The feat by this relay squad marked the 11th Irish National Record to fall over the course of the campaign in Hangzhou.
Splits for the Irish foursome included 52.18 for Ferguson, 57.82 for Greene, 51.38 for Hyland and a 45.85 anchor for Ryan. The sub-46 final leg by Ryan was the 2nd fastest of the entire field, sitting only behind Lithuania’s Simonas Bilis’ 45.83. The Irish squad finished 10th out of this morning’s prelims.
On the historic performance, team member Greene stated, ‘It was great to race together this morning, this was our second time racing together at a major championship, so just to get the experience is what we need heading into the Summer at World Championships, where we hope to qualify the relay for Tokyo 2020.’ Ferguson added ‘I feel we all swam incredibly well and were unlucky not to make it back, as we’d have been going in fourth into the final if it was Windsor (2016 World SC Championships). Hearing we broke the record after all of us swimming so well is another bonus.’
Reflecting on Team Ireland’s performance in Hangzhou on the whole, including the nation’s first-ever World Championships medal, courtesy of Shane Ryan’s bronze in the 50m back, High Performance Director Jon Rudd offered his takeaways. “I don’t think that we could have expected much more from this group of athletes. To come out of a World Championships with a 93% lifetime best strike rate and a 100% conversion rate from heat to semi to final is outstanding. It’s a drum that we’re constantly beating and have done so since this performance team first came together; if we have athletes that can walk into a global arena such as this, feel an ownership around their own performance and feel that they have a performance right to be in such an environment, then you can look forward to lifetime best performances in the heats.’
Looking ahead to 2019 Rudd added ‘We will keep our feet on the ground, as we know this was a short course event and it will be quickly forgotten come our Trials at the end of March 2019 as we prepare for the next World Championships in Korea in the summer – with Olympic relay qualification and Olympic individual pre-validation both up for grabs. But a first ever medal at a senior World event and a five-athlete team that could not have done much more is most encouraging for all of us and it is very much hats off to Ben Higson and all of the Performance Team who enabled this and have now created such a tremendous impetus for Swim Ireland into the long course season ahead”