Records drought cause for concern

 

The lack of record making performances was the main talking point of the national championships in Lisburn. By the time the championships ended on Saturday evening only one record, a junior standard, had been registered for four days of competition.

National coach Ger Doyle was not disappointed with the championships as a whole, but he concedes that the scarcity of records was a worry.

There were, however, at least two contributing factors for the slowish times, the main one being the absence of the top competitors on duty at the world championships in Japan.

The chances of new times were too often militated against by a willingness, on the part of some, to take on too much and compete for too many titles.

The championships though were not lacking in gutsy performances, the most notable being the excellent swimming by Sinead Tyrell of Cormorant, the lone record setter at 400 metres IM, Andrew Bree, Conor Morris, Muiris O'Riada, Donal O'Neill and Lee Kelleher.

Morris turned in a rare and timely effort just ahead of his departure for a four year stint at the University of Bath.

His 2:05.72 for 200 metres IM earns him a place on the national Olympic squad. In all, the 18-year -old Aer Lingus swimmer lifted seven titles.

O'Neill, O'Riada and Kelleher will be joined by Emma Robinson, Julie Douglas, Michael Williamson and Eamonn Foley on the side to compete at the World Student Games in Beijing in two weeks time.