Mona McSharry qualifies in top spot for Glasgow final
Sligo swimmer will go for gold on Saturday; Shane Ryan finishes sixth in final of 100m backstroke
Ireland’s Mona McSharry reacts after winning her semi-final in the 100m breaststroke to qualify in first place for Saturday’s final at the European Short Course Swimming Championships at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow. Photograph: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire
Ryan finished sixth in the final of his main event, the men’s 100 metres backstroke final, while McSharry made short work of her 100 breaststroke semi-final, posting the fastest qualifying time to make Saturday’s decider and is now the gold medal favourite
Ryan broke his own Irish senior record for the fourth time in a month in 50.42 seconds in the final, but that was no real conciliation for the 26-year-old as he finished outside the medals in his main event.
“I missed a turn and I know I can go much faster,” said a disappointed Ryan after his race, won by the Russian Kliment Kolesnikov.
Ryan still has the men’s 50 metres breaststroke to come, an event in which he is a world bronze medallist, but after the race he described the 50 as a “fun event”.
In contrast 19-year-old Mona McSharry, who claimed bronze in the European 50 metres breaststroke on Wednesday, will go for golf from lane four on Saturday at 5.15pm (Live on RTÉ Player).
The Sligo teenager, who swims out of the tiny Marlins swimming club in Donegal, produced an outstanding performance to win her semi-final in a world-class time of 1:04.36, a new Irish record and .27 of a second ahead of the rest of the field for the final.
The performance is all the more remarkable as McSharry missed the world championships this year due to a bout of glandular fever and Glasgow is her first major senior event since recovering from illness
Niamh Coyne, the junior Olympic silver medallist, won her heat in a time of 1:06.12 to qualify in 13th position before finishing eighth in the semi-final won by McSharry in a time of 1:06.16.
Meanwhile, Eoin Corby of Limerick set a new Irish junior record in winning his heat of the men’s 100m breaststroke in 59.63 seconds, although it was not fast enough however to make the semi-finals.
The 17-year-old has broken all three Irish Junior breaststroke records in the past three days.