Photo credit: Tyler Miller/Sportsfile
Mona McSharry in her final year competing as an Under 23, walks away with a hat-trick of gold medals at the LEN Under 23 European Swimming Championships after winning the 200m Breaststroke yesterday, August 13th.
To close the weekend, in a stunning display across three day from the whole team and never been done before, Ireland have topped the final medal table at the LEN U23 European Swimming Championships.
Sligo’s McSharry opened the final day of the meet with a stellar win in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke. The Tennessee swimmer set her intentions at the halfway mark by turning almost a full second ahead of the rest of the field, she powered home over the last 5 meters to win gold in a time of 2:25.49.
Speaking after her gold medal performance McSharry said, “Just unbelievable, I mean the crowd has been awesome every night and it was just super loud, I think that really pushed me and I just said that I have to do it for them, it was just amazing. It’s really tough, even having the mental strength to go out and fast and get to that level of burn and really, I was just pushed on by them (the crowd).”
Ellen Walshe closed out her competition by finishing fourth in the final of the Women’s 50m Butterfly with a new personal best time of 26.64, narrowly missing a bronze medal by just 0.38 of a second.
The Templeogue swimmer is coming out of these championships with two golds and a silver.
Reflecting on the competition, Walshe said, “Yeah, it's been a great meet. It's so nice to have the home crowd here and to finish fourth in the 50m in a race I didn't even think I'd get back into the final for, like I'm delighted."
Kilkenny’s Maria Godden returned to the pool this evening for her third final of the weekend, this time in the Women’s 200m Backstroke. Godden was in prime position to secure herself a bronze medal until fading in the last 50 meters, ultimately finishing in fourth place with a time of 2:14.77.
Reflecting on her race Godden said, "Yeah, to be honest, I’m tired after that, but as you said, fourth place, agonisingly close to the medals again. But look, it's about learning from the experience, what I did wrong there, and I think Jade (assistant coach) said I went out in 1:04, which is where I need to be. It's just about working on the backend speed. I've never raced this late into the season before. I've almost been going a year now. So, I’m looking forward to a bit of rest.”
Relishing the local support throughout the weekend, Godden commented, “It was amazing (the crowd), I’ve never ever experienced anything like this before, walking out to the call room, hearing everyone cheering for you. A special shout out to my friends from Kilkenny, from school who drove up to watch me today. So, I was delighted to make it in for a second swim, it would've been magical to get a medal, but sure luck. Hopefully better the next time.”
Grace Hodgins was also in action in the Women’s 1500m Freestyle tonight, putting on a brave performance finishing in ninth place overall with a time of 17:16.86.
Swim Ireland National Performance Director Jon Rudd was delighted with Team Ireland’s performance stating “A sensational three days of racing for this Irish Team which saw us lead the medal table from day one and secure the top position on the final day; it’s a wonderful thing to be able to say that Ireland are the European Under 23 Champions. A hat-trick of golds for Mona McSharry, alongside three-medal hauls for both Ellen Walshe and Daniel Wiffen is outstanding, and to win nine medals and feature in 16 finals indicates a depth to this young team that is incredibly exciting for the years ahead."
Final Results Sunday 13, August, 2023:
|F 200m Breaststroke||Mona McSharry||2:25.49 (1)|
|F 50m Butterfly||Ellen Walshe||26.64 (4)|
|F 1500m Freestyle||Grace Hodgins||17:16.86 (9)|
|F 200m Backstroke||Maria Godden||2:14.77 (4)|
|M 800m Freestyle||Daniel Wiffen||7:45.59 (2)|
2023 LEN European Under 23 Championships Dublin, Ireland:
|Evan Bailey||New Ross SC||Fran Ronan|
|Jack Cassin||National Centre (Limerick)||John Szaranek|
|Victoria Catterson||National Centre (Ulster)||Kevin Anderson|
|Eoin Corby||National Centre (Limerick)||John Szaranek|
|Maria Godden||National Centre (Limerick)||John Szaranek|
|Grace Hodgins||Trojan SC, Dublin||Jonathan Preston|
|Molly Mayne||Hamilton Aquatics, UAE||Stuart Sant|
|Mona McSharry||University of Tennessee, USA||Matt Kredich|
|Liam O’Connor||Project 28, Dublin||Andrew Addison|
|John Shortt||National Centre (Limerick)||John Szaranek
|Oisin Tebite||Project 28, Dublin||Andrew Addison|
|Ellen Walshe||Templeogue SC, Dublin||Brian Sweeney|
|Matthew Walsh-Hussey||NAC SC, Dublin||Dave Malone|
|Daniel Wiffen||Loughborough University, England||Andi Manley|