Another excellent day’s swimming at the Dave McCullagh Memorial meet at U.L Limerick.
Sycerika McMahon continued her fine early season form by achieving qualification for the 2011 European Junior Championships in three events, the 400m Individual Medley, 100m breaststroke and the 200m freestyle.
McMahon will represent Ireland at the Juniors for the second time, having already won a bronze medal at last year’s competition. The event this year takes place in Belgrade, Serbia and McMahon may be a potential medallist again this summer.
Sycerika had a superb evening, taking first place in the 200m backstroke, 200m freestyle and setting a new Irish Junior Record in the 100m breaststroke final (1:10.54), breaking the time set by Fiona Doyle back in 2008.
Tallaght swimmer Clodagh Flood achieved a consideration time for the European Youth Olympic Festival which takes place this July in Turkey. Her time of 2:25.04 in the final of the women’s 200m butterfly was almost 3 seconds inside the standard required.
Also in competition was Portmarnock swimmer Karl Burdis who took gold in the men’s 200m backstroke (2:09.25) ahead of Colm Dowling of Kilkenny (2:11.50) and William Ensor of Westwood (2:12.57).
The final of the men’s 200m freestyle produced the closest finish of the evening, with NUIM Devils swimmer Seamus Stacey (1:55.74) touching just ahead of Ards swimmer Curtis Coulter (1:55.78), with Ennis swimmer Chris Bryan taking third (1:57.97).
Two more European Junior potentials, Nicholas Quinn of Castlebar and Peter Clarke of Limerick, battled it out to the touch in the 100m breaststroke final. Quinn finished first (1:06.75), just one tenth second ahead of Clarke (1:06.85).
Other winners on the evening included Galway swimmer Saoirse McGrath (400m IM); Niall Wynn, St Paul’s (400m IM), HPC-UL and Limerick swimming club swimmer Shauna Smith (50m butterfly), Paul Laffan, Sunday’s Well (50m butterfly), Brendan Hyland Tallaght (200m butterfly), Seamus Stacey NUIM Devils (200m freestyle) and India McGlynn ESB (200m butterfly).
McMahon, only 15 is a real potential star of the future having taken a record breaking 12 golds and two silvers at the recent Ulster Open .Asked what she was hoping for in 2011 she said then:
“I’ve got the European juniors again and I’ll be giving that my best shot. I’ve also got my GCSEs so it’s a case of balancing school work and my swimming but it seems to be going okay.”
Grainne Murphy and Sycerika McMahon – two young ladies who offer great hope for future Irish swimming success in international events.