McSharry Fifth in World 200m Breaststroke Final; McCusker Sets New Irish Record

ByEmma Porter |

Ireland’s Mona McSharry has finished in fifth place in the 200m Breaststroke Final at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, adding to a fifth-place finish in her main event, the 100m Breaststroke, on Tuesday.

McSharry had advanced from Thursday’s semi-final ranked seventh in 2:25.13. The Sligo woman improved that time in this evening’s final, clocking 2:24.89, her third fastest time ever in the event.

Speaking after the Final McSharry said, “It’s gone really well, this is the first time it’s really starting to click, not the time I wanted, but I think I’m racing it properly now and kind of figuring out the right way to do it and I guess it’s just practice.”

McSharry returns to the pool on Saturday morning for the heats of the 50m Breaststroke, the Irish Record holder in the event in 30.29 said “I think it will be fun, it’s definitely going to be a tough turnaround to go straight back into it tomorrow morning but it’s nice to finish on a 50m, one length, just splash and dash.”

Also, in action tomorrow, 800m Freestyle World Champion Daniel Wiffen returns to the pool for the heats of the 1500m Freestyle. Wiffen enters the preliminary round as the fourth fastest qualifier, the top eight will progress to Sunday evening’s Final. Erin Riordan closes out her Championship with the 50m Freestyle.

Earlier today Max McCusker equalled and then broke the Irish 100m Butterfly Record on a morning of drama in Doha, while Maria Godden and Tom Fannon just missed semi-final places.

In this morning’s heats, McCusker equalled Shane Ryan’s 100m Butterfly Irish Record of 52.52, set at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The result saw the 24-year-old finish in joint sixteenth place with a swim-off then required with South Africa’s Matthew Sates to determine who would get to swim the semi-final.

McCusker came out fighting, swimming his second personal best of the day, and a new Irish Record of 52.31, a bittersweet result though, as Sates won out and secured the semi-final place in 51.80.

Commenting after the swim-off McCusker said “I’m happy, first time getting a pb (personal best) in that event for two years now, so it was quite emotional. Obviously, I wanted to make the semi-final, but that’s not the focus here so I’m happy with it. I feel like I’m only learning the race again, that’s the only two times I’ve done it long course since Japan (2023 World Championships), I feel very confident for the relay, we’ve got a good group of boys so the morales quite high for that, I think we’ll go in there and we can put ourselves in the mix for a Final.”

McCusker is now just .64 of a second away from the Olympic Qualification Time of 51.67. The Dolphin SC (Cork) swimmer returns to the pool on Sunday for the heats of the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay.

Maria Godden closed out her first World Championships with a seventeenth-place finish in the 200m Backstroke. It was Godden’s second top twenty finish of the week after twentieth place in the 100m Backstroke on Wednesday.

Just outside her best of 2:12.19, Godden clocked 2:13.30 and was first reserve for the afternoon’s semi-final.

Godden, who will have a further opportunities to swim the Olympic Qualification Time at the Irish Open Championships in May, spoke after the race “I’m happy enough with it, it’s faster than what I was at Flanders (International Meet) two weeks ago by over two seconds, so it’s definitely moving in the right direction. February is difficult to produce personal bests, it’s been an amazing experience this time, and if I don’t make a semi this time, there’s always Worlds next year.”

In the 50m Freestyle Tom Fannon was just one tenth of a second outside of the semi-final, touching in 22.23 for twenty fourth place overall.

Speaking after the race Fannon said I’m a bit disappointed I won’t lie, still a bit raw, training’s been going well, I’ve been fast in training, lifting well, so the prep was there, everything was there. The swim felt good, so I’m going to have to go back and talk to Steve (coach) and just figure out what went wrong and where.”

Fannon, who has swum the Olympic Qualification Time of 21.95, but not in a designated meet, will have three further opportunities to secure the time at the Irish Open.

Results Day 6 Heats

  • Men 100m Butterfly                           Max McCusker          H 52.52 (=16th) =ISR       SO 52.31 (2nd) ISR
  • Women 200m Backstroke                  Maria Godden          H 2:13.30 (17th)
  • Men 50m Freestyle                             Tom Fannon             H 22.23 (24th)
  • Women 200m Breaststroke                Mona McSharry       H 2:24.82 (2nd)                 SF 2:25.13 (7th)                      F2:24.89 (5th)

Schedule – Day 7 Heats

  • Women 50m Freestyle                      Erin Riordan
  • Women 50m Breaststroke                Mona McSharry
  • Men 1500m Freestyle                       Daniel Wiffen
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