Courtesy: Swim Ireland
Sligo’s Mona McSharry signed off her Olympic debut campaign at Tokyo 2020 in impressive fashion on Wednesday with a new Irish Senior Record of 2:25.08 in the 200m Breaststroke, knocking almost a full second off the previous time she set in April of this year.
The 20-year-old, based at University of Tennessee, led Heat 1 through the first 150m and was just touched out for first on the final wall by Kristyna Horska from the Czech Republic.
After Heat 3, McSharry sat in 13th place, with the top 16 going through to the semi-finals, but a fast final heat, led home by Tatjana Schoenmaker in a new Olympic Record of 2:19.16, gave the Team Ireland swimmer a final ranking of 20th.
McSharry had gone into the event ranked 28th and only one day earlier had become Ireland’s first Olympic swimming finalist in 25 years – finishing 8th overall in 100m Breaststroke.
McSharry said: “It felt really good. I didn’t burn up. Sometimes you can swim a good 200m and it burns. and sometimes it doesn’t. so I never really know what feels like a good time – so to turn around and see a 2:25.08 and a new PB is amazing.
“This isn’t an event I am focusing on at the moment, I definitely want to in the future, but to be able to just put out times like that and put together a good race is really great. And if that’s the way that ends this competition then I’m really happy with that.”
McSharry had also come close to a personal best and new Irish Senior Record in 100m Breaststroke, swimming 1:06.39 in the heats on Sunday. Her Irish Senior Record is 1:06.29.
200m Breaststroke Rio 2016 Olympian Nicholas Quinn reviews Mona’s performance here:
McSharry is the third Irish swimmer to set a new Irish Senior Record at Tokyo 2020. On Wednesday Daniel Wiffen from Magheralin posted 7:51.65 in 800m Freestyle to lower the Irish Senior Record he set in April 2021.
Jack McMillan from Bangor in County Down also set a new Irish Senior Record on Wednesday, leading off the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay with 1:46.66, which bettered the 200m Freestyle record of 1:47.10 that he set in December 2020.
Team Ireland has three swimming and two diving events left at Tokyo 2020, with Shane Ryan up next in 100m Butterfly on Thursday, followed by Danielle Hill in 50m Freestyle and Daniel Wiffen in 1500m Freestyle on Friday.
Next week, Oliver Dingley becomes a double Olympian when opening his Tokyo 2020 campaign in the 3m Springboard on Monday. Then on Wednesday, Tanya Watson becomes Ireland first Olympic female diver when beginning her 10m Platform competition.
Schedule, Thursday – July 29
11:49 Shane Ryan – 100m Butterfly (Heat 1) – PB: 52.94