Day five at the Youth Olympic Games saw Mona McSharry break her own Irish National record for the women’s 50m freestyle by 0.12 seconds with a sensational time of 25.42.
Sligo’s Mona McSharry has booked her place in the finals of the women’s 50 freestyle as second fastest qualifier, breaking her own national record by 0.12 seconds with a time of 25.42. “That was amazing,” said an elated McSharry after the race, “Anything I did this morning that I didn’t feel comfortable with I really tried to focus on it. I took a breath a bit later and just powered into the wall. I didn’t expect that but it’s just amazing, I feel amazing.”
Mona continued; “I just got out of the block, and honestly I felt a bit tired, I’ve been feeling tired in the evenings, it’s quite warm in here. I just dived in, and powered through my leg kick, burst out through the water, took my three breaths when I needed to and just hammered into the wall. I just got that time!”
McSharry will now race in her third final this week; “I’m really excited about that, I wanted to make the final in the 50 but after my breaststroke events I didn’t expect that, it’s just amazing!”
Before her race, the Sligo swimmer always has the same routine, “I am just concentrating on the race at hand and try to not get caught up on negative thoughts. Really just making sure I’m in the moment, because whatever happens, happens, you just got to keep going. I’m just so happy!”
Athlone man Robbie Powell also had a sensational swim clocking 50.76 in his semi-final in the men’s 100 freestyle. With the top 8 progressing to the next round, Powell’s final 11th place finish fell short.
Speaking after the race, the DCU student was happy with his performance, “it went great, I think I did the process really well, I added to my performance earlier, and that’s the main thing. The outcome doesn’t really matter here, just the process. My coach Ben told me to go out in control, be at their hips, but I think I was ahead of their hips, so maybe I was a bit too fast. I tried to do a Niamh Coyne on it and do the back end pretty well.”
Limerick’s Sophie Meredith is lying tenth in the long jump after stage one and was disappointed with her results across her four jumps – 5.59, 5.50, 5.49 and a foul. Strong winds and poor weather conditions played a role in today’s performance, Sophie commented; “I’m a bit disappointed with that result to be honest. It was very windy, the weather was quite bad, but it’s the same for everyone”.
Sophie continued; “My mark was a bit off and I was coming down quite early on my landing, and it didn’t really come together today. But you have good and bad days, but unfortunately today was a bad day. I’ll refresh and reset and hopefully come back on Sunday and do a bit better. My first jump – I was a bit disappointed with it, it felt okay but the result that came up on the board, I thought it would have been further. My next two jumps were behind the board, so I was down 20 cm there, and my last jump I gave it my all but it broke. I’ll try again on Sunday. I hit a few 5.50s on my second and third jumps, I was behind the board, and the board is 20cm, so I know I have it in me. Just to get the right conditions and get the right mark spot on, on the board – hopefully it will come together on Sunday, I’ll just try again.”
Lauren Crowley Walsh finished tied 13th in the women’s individual stroke play, with a final round of 75 (+5), nine shots off bronze. David Kitt was 25th with a final round of 77 (+7) today. Kitt and Crowley Walsh will now pair up to compete in the Mixed Team Four-Ball Stroke Play on Saturday 13 October, the Mixed Team Foursome Stroke Play on Sunday 14th October and the Mixed Team Cumulative Team Play on Monday 15th October.
Nhat Nguyen put the disappointment from yesterday’s singles defeat behind him, and was competing in the relay team semi-final today, missing out on the gold medal final by a single point. Tomorrow he contests bronze in the competition that has been introduced as an exciting innovation for Badminton with eight teams of eight players (four men and four women) playing ties of ten matches, where players accumulate points until they reach a winning total of 110 points. Tomorrow Nguyen’s team will compete for bronze.
Another exciting day ahead in Day Six of the Youth Olympic Games, first athlete out today is Nhat Nguyen in the badminton relay team bronze medal tie, Miranda Tcheutchoua will make her Youth Olympic Games debut in the women’s hammer throw 3kg stage 1 with Emma Slevin taking to the floor for the women’s all-around final. Mona McSharry will compete in the womens 50m free final.
Team Ireland in Buenos Aires comprises of a squad of 16 athletes from 9 sports. The team of 5 male athletes and 11 female athletes includes Nhat Nguyen (Badminton) and Mona McSharry (Swimming), recipients of Olympic Solidarity Scholarships which were awarded to assist with qualification and preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
This is the third edition of the Youth Olympic Games which are hosted every four years. The Games, running from October 6 to October 18 will feature more than 4,000 talented junior athletes aged 15 to 18 from 200 countries in over 32 sports.