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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 15 May 2021

McSharry and Wiffen qualify for the Olympics on opening day of national swimming trials

Darragh Greene and Shane Ryan also swam within their necessary Olympic times, with Greene setting a new Irish senior record.

Mona McSharry.
Mona McSharry.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

MONA MCSHARRY AND Daniel Wiffen qualified for the Tokyo Olympics on a memorable opening day at the Swim Ireland Irish National Team Trials in the National Aquatic Centre today. 

McSharry and Wiffen joined Darragh Greene and Shane Ryan in swimming within the Olympic Consideration Times in their respective events. They will now go forward for ratification by the Olympic Federation of Ireland. 

Wiffen, in the first race of the morning, took a remarkable 21 seconds off his best time in the 800m Freestyle to go under the Olympic qualifying time by two seconds. 

“It’s probably the most nervous competition I’ve ever been to. I only managed to eat cereal for breakfast”, said the 19-year-old from Larne. “I was thinking about it all day. I knew I had to be in and around 3:55 out on the 400m Free, so I wanted to be quite comfortable out. I kinda knew I went out the right time and towards the end I had a cheeky look at the clock on the last 50 to see where I was. I just got my head down then to get that time. It’s unbelievable – 19 and going to the Olympics. I am over the moon and I just have to thank my parents, my coaches and all of my friends for helping me get here.” 

McSharry – the Irish Record holder in the 100m Breaststroke – clocked 1:06.97, to go under the Olympic time of 1:07.07. 

“I was trying not to think about it this morning, which I’ve been doing the last three weeks. Just trying not to build it up so much in my head – it’s just another 100m Breaststroke and I’m just going to swim it. I had a set plan this morning and I have a very organised way that I do stuff to make sure I don’t have time to sit and worry about my race”, said McSharry.

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“The first 50 felt really good. I could see Niamh (Coyne) beside me, so that was definitely pushing me on. When I turned, I could still see her there and I knew I would have to pick it up and really go for it. It definitely burned in the last 10m. At that point you just have to push through. I did have that wonder, does this burn and I’m not going fast enough, or is it because I’m pushing to new levels. It’s very hard to distinguish sometimes. You just have to push to the wall and see what the time is. I knew I was going to do it, and I knew I could do it, but it was still really nice to turn around and be surprised to see it on the board.’”

Greene was already under Olympic consideration for his time at the 2019 World Championships, and today he set a new Irish senior record of 59.76 in the 100m breaststroke. 

19-year-old Eoin Corby has also put himself in contention for the Olympic time this evening, after a personal best swim of 1:00.23 earlier today. He needs to find just three tenths of a second to meet the time of 59.93.

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