Irish Open Championships – Swim Ireland Connacht Update
Swim Ireland’s Irish Open Swimming Championships ran from Wednesday April 4th at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin where Connacht swimmers relished the opportunity to compete against Irish and International athletes and in the process get some personal bests, podium finishes or qualification times for this summer’s European Senior (Glasgow) and Junior Championships (Finland) and World Youth Olympic Games (Argentina) Teams.
The first day saw the Galway Swim Team (Aoife Leahy, Stephanie McLoughlin, Sarah Kelly and Isabel Gibbs) register the first of their “hat trick” of medals. The quartet registered silver in the 800m Freestyle and bronze in each of the 400m Freestyle and 400m Medley. The Sligo team (Carrie Mc Daid, Jade Murphy, Ronan Anderson and Eanna O Hara) were also in fine form picking up their bronze on the Saturday programme in the 400m Mixed Medley.
Longford men Darragh Greene and Gerry Quinn were in a fast mood over the 5 days. Darragh (now training full time in the National Centre Dublin) set a new Irish Senior Record of 1:00.21 in the 100m Breaststroke Final as well as making the consideration time for August’s European Championships. He followed up with another Gold in both the 50m and 200m Breaststroke events. Nicolas Quinn (Castlebar) was in good Breaststroke form also, picking up National silver and bronze medals. Gerry (University of Florida) took bronze in 100m Freestyle and silvers in 200m Freestyle and IM events.
Robbie Powell (Athlone) claimed silver in the 100m Freestyle and in the process getting a consideration time for European Junior Championships and World Youth Olympic Games. He registered a bronze finish in the 50m Fly on day 1 and then stormed up the pool to get Gold in Saturday’s 50m Freestyle final. His teammate Rebecca Lowe brought home bronze in the 800m Freestyle.
Claremorris club swimmer Niamh Kilgallen was in good form in all her events. She took bronze on day 1 in the 100m Breaststroke, bronze on day 3 in the 100m Freestyle and finished on Sunday with a fabulous Gold in the 200m IM. Cillian Melly (Castlebar) received a nice duo of medals in the 100m (Bronze) and 200m (Silver) Fly events. Image result for niamh kilgallen swimming Image result for niamh kilgallen swimming Many Connacht club swimmers made it through to junior finals (Under 17) over the five days. Aoife Bates (Shark) came home first in the 200m Fly, Rebecca Lowe (Athlone) was second in the 100m Backstroke and third in the 100m Freestyle. Aoife Leahy (Galway) was third home in the 400m Freestyle.
Thanks to all at Swim Ireland for all the behind the scenes work and to all Connacht swimmers, coaches, Team Managers, volunteers, and Officials for contributing to such a successful 5 days. Next up Schools Relay Finals and the Schools Interprovincial Championships.