Danielle Hill Advances to European Aquatics Championships final

Danielle Hill Advances to European Aquatics Championships final
HerSport Editor
HerSport Editor

Day three of the 2024 European Aquatics Championships concluded with several standout performances from Irish athletes across swimming and diving.

Promising talent, John Shortt got the show started for Ireland in the 200m Backstroke Final on Wednesday evening. The Galway native, who was competing in his sole event of these Championships, continued to drop time as he advanced through the rounds, coming home in 1:58.48 to place seventh in Europe, in what was his first senior international Final.

Shortt will now turn his attention to the European Aquatics Junior Championships in Lithuania which is less than two weeks away. The 17-year-old, who placed fourth in last year’s iteration will head into the competition brimming with confidence, looking to build on that result.

Speaking after his race, Shortt said: “It’s bittersweet, that’s a European Final I just swam in so I’m so happy. Time wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be, there’s been some challenges this week with racing outdoors for the first time, but I’m happy with that swim.”


 The National Centre (Limerick) swimmer added: “I’ve the European Juniors in ten days, I’ve got to get back home, rest recover and go again at that. I came fourth last year, it was a very close final last year, hopefully this year it will be a little bit quicker; I’m going to try go quicker than Trials and take it from there.”

Shane Ryan, holding the newly minted Senior Record (48.39) took to the blocks once more to compete in the 100m Freestyle Final. The two-time Olympian touched the wall in seventh place with a time of 48.76. Ryan will be back in the pool on Saturday for the 50m Freestyle.

Ryan said: “It was hard to come back tonight, I was kind of nervous because I could have done something different but that’s swimming, sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn't.”

Looking ahead to the 50m Freestyle the National Centre (Dublin) said “I’m going to have fun and rip it; I haven’t done a 50 Free in about two years so I think I’ll be quite quick at it.”


 As the sunset in Belgrade, Danielle Hill announced her arrival onto the European stage with 27.67 in the 50m Backstroke Semi-Final, just outside her Irish Senior Record of 27.64. Hill will head into the Final on Thursday full of confidence after securing the middle lane as fastest qualifier, half of a second ahead of second place Theodora Drakou of Greece.

Hill said: “I’m really happy, there was maybe some nerves in there tonight, this is the first time ever I’m coming into a European Championship with a target on my back, so tonight was about learning how to deal with that so tomorrow there is no nerves.”

 “I’ve got to go out there, enjoy the moment and the inspire the teammates, those guys are sitting up there, when you hear the cheers, it makes the difference. Listen, we will go out have a bit of fun and see what happens.”

 Nathan Wiffen returned to the blocks to compete in the 800m Freestyle Final. The Loughborough swimmer went 8:03.74 to place eighth. Wiffen will return to action on Friday for the 1500m Freestyle.

Eoin Corby shaved a full two seconds off his morning swim (2:13.74) in the 200m Breaststroke Semi-Final, advancing to the Final in fifth place with an excellent 2:11.62.

Corby, who has had a busy week in Belgrade, said: “I’m happy to make it to the start line, I had a few stomach problems, so I just went in there with nothing to lose and just went for it, I made the final, so I’m delighted. It’s all to play for, same game plan with nothing to lose and see what happens.”

In the same event, Darragh Greene closed out his 2024 European Aquatics campaign with tenth place in a time of 2:12.87. Greene, who competed in his first individual European Final on Tuesday, will now head to Rome to race in the Sette Collie event this weekend.

Earlier this evening, Ciara McGing returned to the 10m Platform to compete in the Final. McGing secured eighth place with 250.40 points.

McGing spoke after the Final “I went into this final trying to enjoy myself and I really did! Although not my best performance, my dives were steady and there was a load of good takeaways. I’m thankful for the opportunity and to my family for being the loudest in the crowd. It’s been a long season and to finish it off with my green jersey on is always an honour”.

 Day four will see National Centre (Limerick) trio Jack Cassin, Cormac Rynn and Finn McGeever and New Ross man Evan Bailey all make their first individual appearances this week in the Men’s 200m Freestyle Heats. Conor Ferguson steps out onto the European stage to compete in the 50m Backstroke. Both Ellie McCartney and Niamh Coyne are back in the pool for the 200m Breaststroke. The evening session will see Danielle Hill (50m Backstroke) and Eoin Corby (200m Breaststroke) return for their respective finals.

Day 3 Results


Men 100 Butterfly                       Max McCusker               H 52.94 (23rd)

Women 50 Backstroke             Danielle Hill                    H 27.98 (1st)                    SF 27.67 (1st)
Lottie Cullen                   H 29.30 (16th)                  SF 28.97 (13th)

Men 200 Breaststroke               Darragh Greene             H 2:12.87 (5th)                 SF 2:13.42 (10th) )
Eoin Corby                       H 2:13.74 (10th)              SF 2:11.62 (5th)
Uiseann Cooke              H 2:16.15 (17th)

Men 200 Backstroke Final       John Shortt                      H 1:59.15 (8th)                 SF 1:58.89 (8th)               F 1:58.48 (8th)

Men 100 Freestyle Final           Shane Ryan                     H 48.69 (8th)                    SF 48.39 (5th) ISR            F 48.76(7th)

Men 800 Freestyle Final           Nathan Wiffen                H 7:54.60 (6th)                 F 8:03.74 (8th)

Women's 10m Platform           Ciara McGing                  H 254.40 (5th)                  F 250.40 (8th)


Day 4 Schedule


Men 200 Freestyle                      Jack Cassin, Cormac Rynn, Finn McGeever, Evan Bailey,

Men 50 Backstroke                   Conor Ferguson

Women 200 Breaststroke        Ellie McCartney, Niamh Coyne

Men 200 Breaststroke Final    Eoin Corby

Women 50 Backstroke Final  Danielle Hill

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