Ellen Walshe (file pic). Andrea Staccioli/INPHO
2020 Olympics

Ireland's Ellen Walshe wins heat but misses out on semi-finals along with Greene

19-year-old Walshe finished 24th overall in the 100m Butterfly, while Darragh Greene was well outside 100m Breaststroke qualification.

LAST UPDATE | 24 Jul 2021

IRELAND’S ELLEN WALSHE won her 100m Butterfly heat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics — though won’t progress to the semi-finals.

Also making his Games debut, a fourth-place finish wasn’t enough for Darragh Greene to qualify from the 100m Breaststroke heats, though both will take huge positives from their respective bows.

Walshe, 19, was in impressive form as she clocked a time of 59.35 — which is just three hundredths of a second outside her own Irish record — in heat two, though it left her outside the top 16.

Her time was more than a second off the slowest qualifying time of 58.08, though her final 50m effort and underwater work are huge positives she will take forward — along with the fact she moved up two places from her pre-meet ranking of 26th, while going very close to a lifetime best time.

“It was a strong first swim for me, it’s just slightly off my PB,” she said afterwards.

“It would have been nice to get another Irish senior record but it wasn’t there, I felt strong, but you win some you lose some – I’m happy enough with the swim.” 

Officially classed in 24th place, the Templeogue swimmer will be in action once again in her main event, the Women’s 200m Individual Medley, on Monday.

Meanwhile, Longford man Greene came home in 60.30 in heat two of the 100m Breaststroke.

The 25-year-old, whose Irish senior record is 59.76, turned in fourth place, and picked up the pace from there to come back strong but his finish fell just short — and ultimately, he was outside the top 16 who progress to the semis, though held his ranking of 29th.

Just 20 of the 32 swimmers aiming to swim under 60 seconds managed it, with a world record expected to come in a highly competitive field.

Greene now focuses on the 200m Breastsroke, which takes place on Tuesday, though the 100m was his main event so that will be disappointing.

This is just the second international competition Irish swimmers have been able to contest since December 2019, their training and preparations for the Games really impacted by the pandemic.

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