Following Ireland’s silver medal last night, with Niamh Coyne in the 100 breaststroke, swimming’s good run continued this morning, with both Mona McSharry and Robbie Powell making it through to the semi-finals tonight in their respective events.
In the women’s 50 freestyle McSharry’s time of 25.76 was within 0.21 of her 25.54 PB, and she goes into the semi-finals as the fifth fastest qualifier. Powell also swam close to his best, clocking 51.19 for the 100m freestyle, and qualifying for tonight’s round as 15th fastest qualifier.
Speaking after her race McSharry said; “It was a tough one, I took my last breath really early so I had to race to the wall. It was nice to do something other than the breaststroke because the breaststroke is tough at the moment for me, but it’s nice to change it up a bit and do some freestyle races. It’s great to see that I can lash out a good race, even in the heats, and get close to my PB, especially in the 50 when it’s always tight, so yeah, I’m really happy with that.
Determined McSharry has been close to medals so far this week, with two fourth places in the 50 and the 100 breaststroke, “It’s been a tough couple of days, fourth is always a tough pill to swallow, but I’m ready to give this 50 a go and I definitely want to make it to finals, so will see what happens tonight.”
Athlone’s Robert Powell was relieved and happy to move into the semis in the 100 freestyle, after missing out in the 50 and 100 butterfly today. Powell commented; “best swim of this week for me, so that’s a positive. It felt smooth, I can definitely do better later. I was trying out a new process and I just need to speed up the process better and should do a good time, so I’m happy. The experience is amazing, I would have liked a few more second swims, maybe, even a third swim, but hopefully I can get that tonight and add to the whole experience of this Youth Olympic Games – it’s great. Tokyo and Paris are both aims, I’ve a nice six years ahead of me.”
The evening session of day five of the Youth Olympic Games sees the semis in the pool for McSharry and Powell as well as golfers David Kitt and Lauren Crowley Walsh back on the green. Limerick’s Sophie Meridith will make her Youth Olympic Games debut in the women’s long jump later in the day.
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.