Hill Confirms Standing as Ireland’s Fastest Ever Female Swimmer Taking Down Fourth Irish Record

Danielle Hill cemented her place as Ireland’s fastest ever Irish woman in the pool as the Larne swimmer broke the 50m Freestyle Irish Record at the National Team Trials in Dublin this evening.

Hill broke her fourth record of the week, adding to the 100m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke (x2) in style with a time of 25.19, knocking a tenth of a second off her previous best of 25.29. The 21-year-old will go again in tomorrow’s final with breaking the 25 second barrier and Olympic Consideration Time (OCT) of 24.77 on her mind.

Speaking after the race Hill commented “I know I’ve got a 24. in me, but I’ve got another opportunity tomorrow night and I just have to step up and do it again.”

“It felt really good. I take one breath in the 50m and I got to 35m – usually that’s where I breathe – and I thought, ‘you know what, I could probably go no breathing’, but then it went through my head again and I thought, ‘you know what, I might regret it’, so I took a breath. Tomorrow night I’m going to just go for it. Head down to the wall – it’s 24 seconds so fingers crossed that’ll make the difference.”

Niamh Coyne got the better of Mona McSharry in tonight’s 200m Breaststroke semi-final. This morning, the Irish Record had stood at 2:27.44, which McSharry went under in an impressive 2:25.92. This evening, Coyne, of National Centre Dublin, clocked 2:26.73, clearing over two seconds from her previous best of 2:29.38 and just over a second from the OCT. McSharry hit the wall in 2:27.44 equalling her second-best time ever. Coyne and McSharry will go again in tomorrow evening’s final, both on the hunt for the OCT.

In the Men’s 200m Breaststroke semi-final National Centre Limerick’s Eoin Corby made a stunning drop from a best time of 2:13.24 in December to 2:10.99, edging closer to the OCT of 2:10.35. Darragh Greene, already under Olympic consideration, was second in 2:11.02 with Rio 2016 Olympian Nicholas Quinn third in 2:12.54.

A delighted Corby commented “I was very happy with it. I learned this morning from the heats that I need to work on my stroke count and stroke length. I had it up to 150m and then I died this morning, so that’s what I was working on this evening. I was just trusting my legs and getting into streamline, not stroking, and it paid off.”

“To be honest, I wasn’t even targeting the Olympic time coming into the competition for the 200, so it’s a surprise for me really as well, but I will definitely give it another shot tomorrow evening.”

An exciting final is assured from the event tomorrow evening.

Ards’ Victoria Catterson continued her impressive form in the 200m Freestyle semi-finals. Catterson had broken the 100m Freestyle Irish Record on Wednesday evening, before Hill reclaimed it on Thursday. This evening, Catterson went from a best time of 2:03.00 to 2:01.65 to secure the centre lane for tomorrow’s final.

Jack McMillan was first home in the 100m Freestyle semi-final swimming a personal best of 49.22. McMillan had tied with team-mate Jordan Sloan in this morning’s heats, both going through as top seeds in 49.77. Sloan was second this evening, the Bangor man touching in 49.55.

National Centre Dublin’s Brendan Hyland will be the top seed in tomorrow’s 100m Butterfly Final as he touched in 53.17 ahead of Paddy Johnston (53.85) and Cillian Melly (54.78) while Barry McClements was under the Minimum Qualification Standard of 1:03.41 for the Paralympic Games in 1:02.47.

In the 200m Individual Medley Trojan’s Ethan Hansen won the final in 2:05.12 ahead of National Centre Limerick’s Cadan McCarthy in 2:05.41 while Ellen Walshe won the women’s final in a best time of 2:15.01.

In the 200m Backstroke Cora Rooney dropped 3 seconds from her semi-finals time to touch in 2:23.69 in the final while Conor Ferguson took five seconds off his heat swim of 2:05.59 this morning, touching in 2:00.48 ahead of tomorrow evening’s final.

Over four days of competition, four Irish swimmers have achieved the Olympic Consideration Times and eleven Irish Senior Records have been broken.

Competition continues tomorrow.

NOTES:

  • The Trials are primarily open to Performance athletes currently training in recognised onshore training bubbles in the National Centre (Dublin) at the National Aquatic Centre, the National Centre (Limerick) at the University of Limerick and at Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, as well as those identified athletes of similar standing who are living and training offshore.
  • The competition will comprise of a full Olympic individual event programme with heats, semi-finals, and finals in all 50m, 100m and 200m events and heats and finals in 400m, 800m and 1500m events. It will give our top athletes several qualification opportunities and will provide some very exciting swims over the course of the meet.
  • The meet will be live streamed on RTE Player and will be available to view worldwide.
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