More swimming history was made for Ireland when Sligo’s Mona McSharry won 100m Breaststroke Gold at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis USA, Ireland’s second World swimming title in just 4 days after Shane Ryan’s 50m Backstroke Gold medal win at the World University Games on Wednesday and the country’s fourth world swimming medal this week.
McSharry lead from start to the finish in tonight’s race winning out by .37 of a second over silver medallist Faith Knelson of Canada (1:07.47), USA’s Zoe Bartel completed the podium in 1:07.63. Racing to the championship title and gold medal the Marlins Donegal swimmer eclipsed Fiona Doyle’s 2015 Irish Record of 1:07.15 by five hundredths of a second winning in 1:07.10, knocking almost three tenths of a second off her own previous best of 1:07.38 from this year’s Irish Open Swimming Championships. Doyle’s time was her qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
A delighted McSharry spoke after the race “It’s wonderful to win here at the World Juniors, to stand on top of the podium and hear our anthem played. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me on my journey so far; and now for the 200m (Breaststroke) – I’m not finished yet!”
In just 8 weeks, the newly crowned World Champion has won World and European 100m Breaststroke Gold, World Bronze and European Gold in the 50m Breaststroke and European 200m Breaststroke Silver, the World 200m event takes place on Monday.
Also Conor Ferguson came agonisingly close to a medal in the 50m Backstroke Final. Ferguson, who claimed Ireland’s first ever medal at the event in the 100m Backstroke on Thursday, touched in 25.48 seconds, just one tenth of a second off Poland’s Kacper Stokowski who won bronze in 25.38. USA’s Michael Andrew topped the podium in 24.63 seconds, the American then went on to win the 50m Freestyle Final in 21.75 seconds.
At World Junior Championships tomorrow, McSharry returns for the 50m Freestyle heats, Robbie Powell and Jack McMillan swim the 100m Freestyle and Ellen Walshe will compete in the 100m Butterfly.
Swimming at the World University Games concluded today with Ireland placing 8th in the Medley Relay Final. The Irish team will return after a very successful week which included Ryan’s gold medal, five finals (3 Individual, 2 Relay) and three Irish records.