Irish team break an eighth national relay record in Budapest

Nicole Turner wins silver at World Para Swimming European Open Championships

Ireland has now set a new national senior record in every relay it has competed in so far at the LEN European Aquatics Championships in Budapest, after the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay team clocked a new record of 3:33.06 on Saturday morning.

Max McCusker, Jordan Sloan, Erin Riordan and Victoria Catterson lowered the Irish record in the heats by more than four seconds, bringing Ireland's total new relay records set this week to eight.

On Sunday, Ireland’s bid to qualify a first Olympic relay team since 1972 comes to a close with the men’s and women’s 4x100m medley relays.

The men’s team came into these championships ranked highest of all Ireland’s Olympic relay teams, having finished 14th at the 2019 World Championships in the standing Irish record time of 3:35.23.


The women’s record for this relay of 4:12.29 has stood since 2018 and it will be the goal for each team to once again set new Irish senior records, then sit back for the anxious wait until Olympic relay qualification ends on May 31st and Ireland’s relay learn whether or not they are going to Tokyo 2021.

Before the relay excitement on Saturday, National Centre Dublin's Niamh Coyne clocked 31.99 to finish fourth in her 50m breaststroke heat, swimming her fastest time in this event for more than two years.

It was her first international appearance for Ireland in 15 months and good preparation for her bid to qualify for Tokyo.

Coyne posted a time of 1:07.58 in 100m breaststroke event at the Irish National team trials in April, missing the Fina ‘A’ time needed for Olympic consideration by only 0.51 seconds.

The qualification period for individual swimming events ends on June 27th and Coyne is among 10 Irish swimmers who have not yet hit a Fina ‘A’ time, but are within 1.5 per cent of one.

The athletes will be given one final opportunity next month to hit that time and earn consideration for Tokyo.

Meanwhile, Nicole Turner brought the curtain down in spectacular fashion on the final day of the World Para Swimming European Open Championships in Madeira on Saturday, winning another silver medal, this time in the S6 50m butterfly final, finishing with a time of 37.04 seconds.

Having already won two bronze and one silver this week, Turner went into her main event on day seven of the competition full of confidence. She battled from the start with Eleanor Robinson from Team GB, Robinson going on to take gold with a time of 36.39 seconds, just 0.65 seconds ahead of Nicole.

The Portarlington native wrapped up her week after competing in four events over the seven days, finishing on the podium in all four events.

Team Ireland will return home on Sunday with five medals in total, with Róisín Ní Ríaín winning a bronze on her debut at a major Para competition in the S13 100m backstroke.