Ireland’s Conor Ferguson, Darragh Greene, Max Mc Cusker and Shane Ryan after the race. Andrea Staccioli/INPHO

Ireland qualify for first-ever World Championships relay final in Doha

Women’s team secure Olympic quota spot, as men close in on qualification.

THE IRELAND MEN have qualified for a first-ever World final for a relay at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha.

The 4x100m Medley quartet of Conor Ferguson (Backstroke), Darragh Greene (Breaststroke), Max McCusker (Butterfly) and Shane Ryan (Freestyle) finished eighth in their heat in a time of 3:34.97.

It also likely sees them qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Swim Ireland believe they are now 15th in the rankings, inside the top 16 confirmed, but are awaiting confirmation. They also require two Olympic Qualifying Times [OQT] on the team to accept, with none of the swimmers achieving the feat as of yet.

“I feel absolutely over the moon to get that relay across the line,” Ferguson said after the race. “We said it form the start of the week, we did it and we all pulled through.

“We all have a bit to drop and that’s the exciting thing, we’re capable of much more.”

“We knew it was all on the line really for us to take it,” Greene added. “It was a good race. It was just a complete learning curve with it, especially with this team. It’s the fastest team Ireland has ever put forward, so looking forward to racing again.

“A World final is literally what everyone is working towards, dreaming of, and it’s huge for us individually and as a group. It’s absolutely class.”

This evening’s final gets underway at 5.37pm Irish time.

The women’s team, meanwhile, have secured an Olympic quota spot as they look set to became Ireland’s first women’s relay team at a Games since 1972.

While not competing at Doha, they sit 13th in the standings with a time of 4:01.25, and only Hong Kong can move above them after this evening’s final. Mona McSharry and Ellen Walshe have both secured OQTs.

Daniel Wiffen and Mona McSharry are also in finals action later today. Both are preparing for their third finals of the week, with McSharry (50m Breaststroke) taking to the pool at 4.09pm Irish time, before Wiffen (1500m Freestyle) at 4.16pm.

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