Day 2 of the 2013 Irish Long Course Championships again held Katinka Hosszu as its star, but being an Irish meet we’ll start with the top accomplishments of Irish swimmers.
In the men’s 800 free, Andrew Meegan broke his second National distance record of the meet. He swam an 8:10.65, which knocks more than three seconds off of his own record of 8:13.81 set back in 2009.
Though still 10 seconds shy of the World Championship qualifying mark, but it does demonstrate a slight uptick in the depth of quality in Irish swimming: a program that in recent years has been characterized more by one or two stars and not much to follow.
18-year old Conor Turner was 2nd in 8:19.15, which broke the Irish Junior Record in the event. The two are teammates at the Aer Lingus club.
More National Records went down in the men’s 400 IM. The win went to Egyptian swimmer Ahmed Akram Abbas in 4:26.34, which broke the Egyptian National Record of 4:27.32 in the event.
The lone man to break up that stranglehold was 18-year old Irish swimmer Brendan Hyland. He took 2nd in 4:27.45, which is a new Irish Junior Record.
In the women’s 50 fly, Irish swimmer Shauna O’Brien from the UCD Swim Team was 2nd overall in a 27.75, which knocked just over a tenth from an 8-year old Irish Record. The swimmer she placed behind was Egypt’s Farida Osman, who just missed a record of her own with a 26.80. Osman is bound for Cal in the United States next fall. Egypt swept the 50 flys, as Shehab Younies won the men’s race in 24.6 that was just .02 away from the Egyptian National Record.
His countrymate Marwan Adel was 2nd in 24.69.
The only other individual finals on the day (not won by Hosszu) went to Mary-Kate McDowell in the women’s 800 free with a 9:01.61, and a 1:04.22 from a Hosszu-less 100 backstroke final at the hands of Jane Roberts. (Remember that Hosszu broke the Hungarian Record on Thursday with the top seed in prelims but scratched semis and finals.)
The Irish got quite a thrill, though, from 21-year old Fiona Doyle in the semi-finals. She lives and trains at the University of Calgary in Canada, and though she’s been largely overlooked as a potential World Championship qualifier (even by her own federation, who left her entirely out of their meet preview). She was a 1:08.72 in prelims and a 1:08.80 in the semi-finals, which leaves her less than a tenth from World Championship qualification. In the least, she’ll head to Russia for the World University Games.
Barry Murphy was the top qualifier in the semi-final of the men’s 100 breaststroke with a 1:01.42. That’s his best time of 2013, but he’s got more work to do than does Doyle to hit his qualifying time.
Hosszu’s big moment was in the 400 IM. She swam a 4:38.67 to win by 10 seconds over Ireland’s best swimmer Sycerika McMahon, who is already qualified for the World Championships. Swimming next to the inexhaustable Hosszu will be a good experience for the 18-year old McMahon, who rarely gets such competition in domestic meets.
McMahon also took the top seed in the semi-finals of the 100 free with a 56.84.
European Junior Championships, 10th – 14th July 2013, Poznan, Poland
Today’s Qualifiers: Mary Kate McDowell (800m Free)
Previously Qualified :Sarah Kelly Comans SC, Clodagh Flood Tallaght SC/NAC HPC, Brendan Gibbons Athlone SC/NAC HPC, Mary Kate McDowell Bangor SC, Derbhail McNamara Westport SC, Brian O’Sullivan NAC SC, David O’Sullivan Galway SC, Gemma Kane Bangor ASC
World University Games, 10th – 17th July 2013, Kazan, Russia
Previously Qualified: Chris Bryan (Ennis SC), Fiona Doyle (Portmarnock SC), Andrew Meegan Aer Lingus SC
European Youth Olympic Festival, 14th – 19th July 2013, Utrecht, Netherlands
Today’s Qualifiers: James Brown (400IM) Ards ASC, Benjamin Doyle (400IM) Aer Lingus
Previously Qualified: Niamh Kilgallon Claremorris SC, Rachel Bethel Bangor ASC, James Brown Ards AC, Morgan Berryman City of Belfast, Joseph Mooney Limerick SC.
World Swimming Championships, 28th July – 4th August 2013, Barcelona, Spain
Previously Qualified: Sycerika McMahon (Leander ASC) Chris Bryan (Ennis SC)
US Open, 30th July – 3rd August 2013, Irvine, California
Previously Qualified: Brendan Gibbons (Athlone SC NAC HPC), Bethany Carson (Lisburn City SC), Andrew Meegan (Aer Lingus SC), Barry Murphy (Aer Lingus SC/NAC HPC), Brendan Hyland (Tallaght SC/NAC HPC), David Thomspon (Invictus ASC), Fiona Doyle (Portmarnock SC), Seamus Stacey NUIM Devils, Sean Leahy Dolphin SC, Curtis Coulter Ards ASC, Davd O’Sullivan Galway
IPC World Championships, 11-17th August 2013, Montreal, Canada
Today’s Qualifiers: Ellen Keane (100Fly) Aer Lingus SC, Darragh McDonald (400Free) Asgard SC, James Scully (200Free) NUIM Devils, Jonathan McGrath (400Free) Limerick SC
Previously Qualified: James Scully NUIM Devils, Ellen Keane Aer Lingus SC, Bethany Firth Ards ASC