While the Irish swimming stars of today were busy performing on the World stage in Fukuoka, the stars of tomorrow were doing similar in Maribor with all six athletes competing over day four of swimming at the European Youth Olympic Festival.
The below report has been provided by the Olympic Federation of Ireland:
It was a full day of action in the pool for Team Ireland, with all Irish athletes competing. Both Sean Donnellan and Ava Jones progressed to the semi-finals, after strong swims in the morning. Bangor’s Brydan Byrne finished 6th in the Boy’s 200m Backstroke Final with a time of 2:07.03. He was the final Team Ireland swimmer racing in the evening session at the Pristan Swimming Pool, and speaking after his race, he said, “I took advantage of having no swim this morning and tried to get ready for this evening. I got in and did my normal warm-up, and just gave it all I could. It’s been a great experience, it’s good to have that experience in a final as well, as it helps me for the future.”
In his second semi-final of the EYOF, Sean Donnellan was in action in the pool this evening for the Boy’s 100m Butterfly. The Dubliner finished 14th overall with a time of 57.18. Donnellan was able to enjoy the race with the 100m Butterfly being his preferred event. It’s been a good experience for the Glenalbyn swimmer. Speaking after the event, Donnellan said, “I just decided to go for it, because it’s my last event of the competition. I just went for it as fast as I could. It’s great to make two semi-finals even though I’d like to go a bit quicker. It’s great to be able to compete with these lads, as it’s a pretty high level. I was really able to enjoy the 100m this evening, it was a really good atmosphere.”
Also racing in a semi-final was Dublin’s Ava Jones in the Girl’s 100m Breaststroke. Jones finished in 10th place with a time of 1:12.32, falling just off the pace in the last 10m meaning she is second reserve for tomorrow evening’s final.
Slightly disappointed with her race, the Dublin swimmer said, “It wouldn’t be my PB, the time is a bit disappointing. I think I did my race plan well, and I’m reserve number two for the finals, so I’m okay with that. I was going into the competition hoping to get a final, but a semi-final I’m happy with.”
It was a busy morning for Gene Smyth who clocked a time of 24.89 in the Boy’s 50m Freestyle, not enough to qualify for the semi-finals. He also competed in the 200m Freestyle in a time of 1.57.29.
Galway’s Niamh Connery was also competing in the Girl’s 100m Breaststroke, finishing with a time of 1.15.19. Only one nation can qualify out of the heats for each nation, and Jones was faster in the qualifying rounds. Denis O’Brien’s 1.56.72 in the Boy’s 200m Freestyle was also not enough to progress out of the heats.
Results – 27 July
Boy’s 200m Backstroke Final | Brydan Byrne – 2:07.03 (6th)
Girl’s 100m Breaststroke Semi-Finals | Ava Jones – 1:12.32 (10th)
Boy’s 100m Butterfly Semi-Finals | Sean Donnellan – 57.18 (14th)
Boy’s 50m Freestyle Heats | Gene Smyth – 24.89
Girl’s 100m Breaststroke Heats | Niamh Connery – 1:15.19
Boy’s 200m Freestyle Heats | Denis O’Brien – 1:56.72, Gene Smyth – 1:57.29