A TWELVE strong Irish swimming team will begin competition tomorrow, Tuesday, at the 1st European Games in Baku. The team, led by Pearse McGuigan (Swim Ireland Connacht Performance Centre Coach) and assisted by Peter Hill (Larne ASC), will compete from the 23rd – 28th June at the Baku Aquatics Centre, 526 swimmers will compete in a total of 42 events. The Games are doubling up in 2015 as the LEN European Junior Swimming Championships with eligible age groups 17‐18 for men and 15‐16 for women.
Limerick Swimming Club’s Alan Corby will be partaking in the 50 meter backstroke, 100 meter butterfly, 200 meter backstroke, 100 meter backstroke, 50 meter breaststroke 200 meter individual medley events.
All 12 Irish swimmers are in action on the opening day of competition including Irish Junior Record holders Danielle Hill in the 200m Backstroke and Emma Reid in the 200m Butterfly. Mona McSharry and Niamh Kilgallen are first up in the morning competing in the 50m Breaststroke heats and will be followed by James Brown and Benjamin Doyle in the 50m Butterfly.
2015 Irish National 100m Backstroke Champion Rory McEvoy will be joined by his teammate at the Swim Ireland Performance Centre in UL Sport Alan Corby in the heats of the same event while Andrew Moore will swim the 200m Breaststroke, his main events, the 200m and 400m IM coming later in the week.
Ireland are also represented tomorrow by Rachel Bethel, Mona McSharry and Iseult Hayes in the 100m Freestyle and Katie Baguley in the 400m Individual Medley.
The top 16 in all 50m, 100m and 200m events will make semi-finals with the fastest 8 from them progressing to Finals. In the 400m events and Relays, the top 8 from heats will progress directly to the Final.
Speaking before the event Swim Ireland National Performance Director Peter Banks said “We are delighted to be represented at the 1st European Games by 12 of Ireland’s finest junior swimmers, they are a young team and have been working hard in the run up to the Games, we are hopeful for a number of top 16 and top 8 performances over the 5 days of competition”.
The team are: Danielle Hill (Larne ASC), Niamh Kilgallen (Claremorris SC), Rachel Bethel (Lisburn ASC), Mona McSharry (Marlin’s SC, Donegal), Emma Reid (Ards ASC), Rory McEvoy (Ennis SC), Alan Corby (Limerick SC), Katie Baguley (Glenalbyn SC), Iseult Hayes (Sunday’s Well SC, Cork), Andrew Moore (Galway SC), James Brown (Ards ASC) and Benjamin Doyle (Aer Lingus SC).
Day 1 Heats:
W 50m Breaststroke – Mona McSharry, Niamh Kilgallen
M 50m Butterfly – James Brown, Benjamin Doyle
W 100m Freestyle – Rachel Bethel, Mona McSharry, Iseult Hayes
W 200m Butterfly – Emma Reid
M 100m Backstroke – Alan Corby, Rory McEvoy
W 400m IM – Katie Baguley
M 200m Breaststroke – Andrew Moore
W 200m Backstroke – Danielle Hill