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Mona McSharry qualifies for 100m breaststroke semi-finals, but disappointment for Danielle Hill

Hill finished 25th in the overall standings of the 100m backstroke heats.

Mona McSharry in action during today's heats.
Mona McSharry in action during today's heats.
Image: Giorgio Scala/INPHO

MONA McSHARRY PRODUCED a brilliant performance in the women’s 100m breaststroke heats on her Olympic debut this morning to qualify for tomorrow’s semi-finals.

McSharry came third in her heat in a time of 1:06.39. The 20-year-old was fourth at the turn at 31.06, but came back strong in the second half of the race.

South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker won the heat in an Olympic record time of 1:04.82, with USA swimmer Lydia Jacoby second at 1:05.52, with the pair also topping the overall standings.

McSharry’s time saw her finish ninth in the overall standings to qualify for tomorrow morning’s semi-finals. The top 16 swimmers across the heats advanced.

“I’m really excited, it was really nice to do that, it really is something else competing at the Olympics and I’m really glad that I’ve got the first race done now – and I’m so happy that I get to do another one,” McSharry said.

“I really burned coming up the last 25m. I could see the Swiss coming up the right of me and I was like, ‘I’m not letting her touch me out!’ I thought she almost had me, but I really pushed the last 10m. 

“It’s really nice to be competing against great swimmers that are breaking records like that and say that you were in the same race as them.”

Earlier on Sunday Danielle Hill missed out on qualifying for the semi-finals of the women’s 100m backstroke.

Hill, 21, finished third in her heat with a time of 1:00.86.

Finland’s Mimosa Jallow won the heat at 1:00.06, with France’s Beryl Gastaldello second at 1:00.69.

The Co Antrim swimmer, competing in heat three, hit the 50m turn in fourth place on a time of 29.47 seconds, but couldn’t break under the 30 second mark over the second 50m.

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Hill’s time saw her finish 25th in the overall standings, with the top 16 swimmers across the heats qualifying for the semi-finals.

Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown topped the overall standings in a time of 57.88, with Regan Smith of the USA second fastest at 57.96, and Canada’s Kylie Masse third at 58.17.

“I’m a little disappointed with how it went, I would have liked to perform a little bit better, especially given that it is an evening swim but at the same time, I’m proud to put the Irish hat on and represent Larne as well,” Hill said.

“I think I was a little bit scared to attack it if I’m being brutally honest, I should have gone out and attacked it but that’s what I’ve got to learn and the only way I’m going to learn it is by doing it wrong.” 

Hill will be back in the pool for the 50m freestyle event on Friday. 

Updated at 12.02pm to include Mona McSharry result.   

About the author:

Ciarán Kennedy

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