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Joy as Irish teen wins gold medal at European Junior Championships

Mona McSharry claimed victory in the 50m Breaststroke final in Israel earlier today.

Mona McSharry (file pic).
Mona McSharry (file pic).
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Updated at 01.08

IRELAND’S MONA MCSHARRY has secured a gold medal in the 50m Breaststroke at the European Junior Championships in Israel today.

The 16-year-old had secured an Irish junior record swim of 31.14 seconds in the morning heats, before claiming an Irish senior record of 30.91 seconds in the semi-finals, breaking Fiona Doyle’s 2013 record of 30.93 in the process.

The Marlins (Ballyshannon) swimmer, who took home a bronze medal at the same event last year, then topped it all off with a first major gold medal in the final with a time of 31.38, ahead of Poland’s Weronika Hellmann, who finished in second in 31.55.

It was Ireland’s first gold medal at the event since London 2012 Olympian Sycerika McMahon prevailed in the 50m Breaststroke and 400m Freestyle in 2011.

There was positive news too for Irish swimmer Ellen Walshe, who knocked a second off her personal best while finishing 10th overall in the 200m Butterfly semi-final and fifth in her race with 2:14.50.

Meanwhile, Jack McMillan (4:01.03) came fourth in his heat in the 400m Freestyle, while Niamh Coyne picked up a time of 32.96 seconds in the 50m Breaststroke and Robbie Powell swam 25.52 seconds in the 50m Butterfly as they prepare for their main events later this week.

In addition, Rebecca Reid clocked a time of 5:01.15 in the 400m Individual Medley and 2:25.67 in the 200m Backstroke, while Rachel Bethel picked up a time of 9:09.82 in the 800m Freestyle.

McSharry will compete again tomorrow in the heats of the 200m Breaststroke along with Coyne. Powell and McMillan will race in the 100m Freestyle, with the former also swimming in the 200m Butterfly, while Bethel will feature in the 400m Freestyle heats.

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Paul Fennessy

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