Records Tumble on Penultimate Night of Racing in Romania

ByEmma Porter |

Irish swimmers set four new national records and had five European top-ten finishes on the penultimate night of racing at the European Aquatics Short Course Championships in Romania.

Danielle Hill set yet another Irish Record in the 100m Backstroke Final, the Larne swimmer’s sixth record of the Championships. Hill, who placed fourth in the 50m Backstroke Final on Friday, was sixth overall in the final of the 100m event in 57.56, lowering the record of 57.73 that she set in the semi-final.

The 24-year-old was pleased with her results this week stating “I think that has to be the most nervous that I have felt all week, that 100m matters just a little bit more, and I’m happy to back up the 57 (seconds), so I’m really excited moving forward now with that. I’m looking forward to supporting the rest of the guys now.”

Already a 400m Individual Medley bronze medallist at these Championships, Ellen Walshe came close to a second medal when she finished fourth in the final of the 100m Butterfly.

Walshe swam an Irish record of 56.67, taking one-hundredth of a second off her own 2021 record of 56.68, and was just .69 behind the bronze medallist.

Just thirty minutes later, the Templeogue swimmer was back on the blocks for the 200m Individual Medley Final where she was sixth overall in 2:09.57, outside the Irish record of 2:08.50 that she set in Friday’s semi-final.

Walshe was back in the pool once again for the semi-finals of the 50m Butterfly where she lowered her heat time of 25.99 to 25.97 to place twelfth overall.

Reflecting on her championships Walshe said “I have a lot to learn and a lot of improvements to make short course and I think that this meet has shown me where I need to improve, so I’m looking forward to getting back training and enjoying the rest of the season.”

In the 200m Freestyle, Victoria Catterson swam her second Irish record of the day, dipping under the 1:56 mark for the first time to finish sixth in her semi-final and twelfth overall in 1:55.94.

Catterson took almost a second off the record of 1:56.90 that she set earlier on Saturday, a record of 1:57.29 that Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympian Melanie Nocher had held since 2011.

John Shortt backed up his Irish senior and junior record set in the 200m Backstroke heats on Saturday morning with another record in the semi-finals. The 16-year-old lowered his time from 1:54.21 to 1:54.02 to place fifth in his heat and eleventh overall.

Shortt spoke after the race saying “I’m delighted with that, to progress it on from heats to semi’s is really good. I kind of wanted to be a little bit quicker but I can’t complain.”

Also competing in the 200m Individual Medley this evening, Ellie McCartney, swimming in her first senior international final, in her first season as a senior athlete, finished eighth overall in 2:12.40.

In the Men’s 100m Freestyle, Ireland was represented by Shane Ryan and Max McCusker, in the first semi-final. Ryan, the Irish record holder in the event, posted the faster time of the duo in 47.23 for tenth overall, while McCusker was sixteenth in 48.57.

Hill, Walshe, Catterson, McCartney, Ryan and Shortt will all be back in action at next weeks’ Irish National Winter Championships at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre.

Only one day of racing remains at the Championships, with Maria Godden the only swimmer in action on Sunday morning in the 400m Freestyle Heats. Daniel and Nathan Wiffen will compete in the 800m Freestyle Final at 5.34pm with Daniel on the hunt for a hat-trick of gold medals having already claimed titles in the 400m and 1500m Freestyle.

2023 European Aquatics SC Swimming Championships (Otopeni, Romania)

Event Name Heat Semi-Final Final
Men’s 50m Breaststroke Liam O’Connor 27.69 (27th)
Tom Fannon 27.75 (28th)
Women’s 200m Freestyle Victoria Catterson 1:56.90 (13th) ISR 1:55.95 (12th) ISR
Grace Davison 1:59.74 (32nd)
Men’s 200m Backstroke John Shortt 1:54.21 (13th) ISR 1:54.02 (11th) ISR/IJR
Women’s 50m Breaststroke Ellie McCartney 32.05 (25th)
Men’s 100m Freestyle Max McCusker 48.33 (18th) 48.57 (16th)
Evan Bailey 48.53 (22nd)
Oisin Tebite 50.17 (37th)
Shane Ryan 47.00 (6th) 47.23 (10th)
Women’s 50m Butterfly Ellen Walshe 25.99 (12th) 25.97 (12th)
Men’s 800m Freestyle Daniel Wiffen 7:33.38 (1st)
Nathan Wiffen 7:34.78 (5th)
Women’s 100m Backstroke Danielle Hill 59.24 (14th) 57.73 (5th) ISR 57.56 (6th) ISR
Women’s 100m Butterfly Ellen Walshe 57.59 (3rd) 56.90 (4th) 56.67 (4th) ISR
Women 200m IM Ellen Walshe, 2:11.62 (9th) 2:08.50(4th) ISR 2:09.57 (6th)
Ellie McCartney 2:11.99 (10th) SF 2:11.72 (8th) 2:12.40 (8th)


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