|It was a night of close calls for Irish swimmers at the European Aquatics Short Course Championships with a medal and finals just out of reach for the four swimmers in action.
National Centre Dublin’s Shane Ryan got the second night of finals underway in Otopeni, in the final of the 50m Backstroke. The 29-year-old came agonisingly close to Ireland’s third medal of the Championships touching just two hundredths of a second behind the joint bronze medallists.
Ryan’s time of 23.12 secured fifth place overall behind France’s Mewen Tomac (22.84), Germany’s Ole Braunschweig and bronze medallists Lorenzo Mora and Thierry Bollin (23.10).
Speaking after the race Ryan said ‘It’s always difficult when you come into a meet not rested, as you still have expectations and I know what I’m capable of. I will keep a strong mind about it and look at the bigger picture as we’re saying here, so on to bigger and better things.’
Ryan will be back in action tomorrow in the 100m Backstroke Heats.
Tom Fannon was also unlucky to miss out this evening, the National Centre Dublin swimmer, just five hundredths of a second away from the top eight required to make the 50m Freestyle Final. There was a consolation however, as the 25-year-old set a new Irish Record of 21.21, breaking Shane Ryan’s 2021 record of 21.35. Fannon now holds both the short course (25m) and long course (50m) records in the event and claims the title of Ireland’s fastest ever swimmer.
Commenting after the race Fannon said ‘I’m just happy to break the record, so close to 20 seconds, so now that’s the goal, maybe next year, taper coming into the meet. I’d like to see 20, so just keep chasing that.’
After the 50m Freestyle semi-final, it was confirmed that Fannon will have an opportunity for another swim tomorrow. After a four-way tie for tenth place and the second reserve spot, Fannon will compete against three other swimmers at the end of tomorrow’s heats to see if he can secure tenth outright.
Ellen Walshe, who last night claimed a 400m Individual Medley bronze medal, was back in semi-final action in the 100m Individual Medley. The Templeogue swimmer touched in 1:00.11, bettering her time of 1:00.20 from this morning, to finish in tenth place overall.
In the women’s 200m Backstroke semi-final, National Centre Limerick’s Maria Godden swam another best time, improving on the 2:07.10 this morning, to a 2:06.71 for eleventh place overall.
Godden was pleased with the swim stating, ‘I’m delighted, that’s just under four seconds personal best in the 200m Backstroke just this year so I’m pleased to see all the training and hard work paying off, especially as short course wouldn’t be my strongest suit, so this is really positive heading into long course (50m) season now in January’.
Eleven Irish swimmers will be in action tomorrow, with Daniel and Nathan Wiffen already confirmed for the 1500m Freestyle Final at 5.04pm (Ireland).