Mona McSharry storms home to take European bronze in Glasgow

Sligo teenager wins 50m breaststroke medal from outside lane

Ireland’s Mona McSharry  with her bronze medal after the final of the 50m breaststroke at the 2019 LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships at the  Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow. Photograph: Andrea Staccioli/Inpho

Ireland’s Mona McSharry with her bronze medal after the final of the 50m breaststroke at the 2019 LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow. Photograph: Andrea Staccioli/Inpho

 

Sligo’s Mona McSharry won a bronze medal in the final of the women’s 50 metres breaststroke on the opening day one of the European Short Course Swimming Championships at the Tollcross Centre in Glasgow

The Donegal-based swimmer, competing at her first senior international meet since a bout of glandular fever earlier this year, was using the 50 breaststroke as a warm-up for her main event in the 100.

The 19-year-old McSharry was fourth in her heat in 30.51 seconds and bettered that time in the semi-final, again finishing fourth in 30.31 to make the final in eighth place.

In the final, McSharry turned fourth of the eighth finalists with all eyes on the two Italians in the middle lanes.

However, she powered down the last 25 from the outside lane and reached the wall in third place with Italy’s Benedetta Pilato taking gold in a world junior record of 29.32 seconds and her team-mate Martina Carraro in silver.

“I don’t know how I made it to get a medal on an outer lane as I made a mistake gliding into the finish,” said McSharry.

“I’ve just put my hands on the wall and this was the first time that I swim inside 30 seconds.”

She set a new Irish record, going under her own previous best of 30.19 seconds, and she now has to turn her attention to the heats of the women’s 100 metres individual medley on Thursday.

In the men’s 50 breaststroke, Darragh Greene, the only Irish swimmer so far to post an Olympic qualifying time, was back for a second swim on Wednesday evening as he was placed 16th overall.

Greene, more noted as a 100 and 200 breaststroke swimmer, posted a personal best time of 26.78 seconds in his semi-final.

Larne’s Danielle Hill broke the minute mark for the first time in her heat of the 100m backstroke, recording a time of 58.38 seconds to make the top 16 in the final qualifying place.

In the semi-finals the 20-year-old broke Melanie Nocher’s Irish senior record, finishing sixth in a time of 58.62 seconds to cut .68 of a second off the old Irish best. She finished 13th overall, not enough to make the final.

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