Mona McSharry strikes gold at European Junior Championships

16-year-old from Donegal wins 50-metre breaststroke in Netanya, Israel

Mona McSharry has struck gold for Ireland at the European Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel, winning the 50-metre breaststroke with another dominating display.

The 16 year-old from Donegal had been in record-breaking form on route to the final, and wrapped up her first gold medal with a time of 31.38 seconds, just shy of her own Irish senior record.

That record was set in the morning heats, the Marlins-Ballyshannon swimmer progressing from the semi-final to final with a new Irish Senior Record of 30.91 seconds, breaking Fiona Doyle’s 2013 record of 30.93 seconds.

Victory in the final came ahead of Poland's Weronika Hellmann, who clocked 31.55 in second: McSharry won bronze in the same event in 2016 while Ireland's last gold medal at these championships was won by London 2012 Olympian Sycerika McMahon who took 50m Breaststroke (32.00) and 400m Freestyle Gold in 2011.


Ellen Walshe knocked over a second off her best time with a fine swim in the 200m Butterfly semi-final. Walshe was ninth (2:15.22) overall this morning and touched fifth in the second semi-final in 2:14.50 to place 10th overall.

McSharry returns to the pool tomorrow for the heats of the 200m Breaststroke where she will be joined by Niamh Coyne. Robbie Powell and Jack McMillan race the 100m Freestyle with Powell also entered in the 200m Butterfly while Rachel Bethel swims the 400m Freestyle heats.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics