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Dublin: 0°C Friday 16 April 2021
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O'Brien smashes Michelle Smith's 18-year-old Irish 100m butterfly record

Shauna O’Brien completed the short-course 100m butterfly final in 59.38 seconds.

File photo of O'Brien.
File photo of O'Brien.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

ON SATURDAY UCD Swimmer Shauna O’Brien delighted the Lisburn crowd by breaking a long-standing Irish record on her way to winning 100 metre butterfly gold in the Irish short-course championships.

The previous best time in the event of 59.99 seconds, one of the oldest short-course records left standing, was set by Michelle Smith de Bruin in at a World Cup event in January 1995.

O’Brien, who was just 20 minutes earlier the winner of the 50m freestyle event, brought the crowd to their feet as she powered to the wall in 59.38 seconds.

Yesterday, on the third and final day of the championships, O’Brien was back in the pool to break another record. This time it was her own over the shorter distance 50m butterfly final in 27.14 seconds – .16 faster than her previous personal best.

Sunday’s action brought five more new records including Andrew Meegan who became the first Irish man to swim the 800m freestyle in under eight minutes. His 7:59.92 was a .67 second improvement on his PB.

Back in the women’s competition; 12 -year-old Antoinette Neamt continued her stunning progress with a gold in the 15oom freestyle event. The first-place marked the high point of a gritty weekend of competition for Neamt who narrowly lost out in 400 and 800m battles with Grainne Murphy.

Murphy’s third gold of the meet came in yesterday’s 400m individual medley.

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Sean Farrell

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