Ireland’s men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team have advanced to Sunday afternoon’s final at the 15th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) with an Irish senior record-setting swim.
This will be the first time in Irish swimming history that the nation will field a relay in a World Championships Final.
They will be joined on the schedule by Danielle Hill in the 50m Backstroke Semi-Finals and Mona McSharry in the 100m Breaststroke Semi-Finals.
Taking place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, the Championships are world swimming’s finale of 2021 and the culmination of the short course (25m pool) season.
Jack McMillan, Robbie Powell, Finn McGeever and Jordan Sloan stormed through their Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay heat to finish second in 7:02.35, smashing an incredible 21 seconds off the Irish Senior Record in the process.
Three of this team – McMillan, McGeever and Sloan – also set a new Irish Senior Record in this event in the long course (50m pool) format at the LEN European Aquatics Championships in May – the performance earned Ireland their first ever spot in a Men’s Olympic swimming relay event, and a first Olympic swimming relay of any kind in 49 years.
FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi. Ireland’s Jordan Sloan during the heat ©INPHO/Andrea Staccioli
The Final for the Irish quartet takes place at 3.59pm Irish time, having qualified in sixth position. Their efforts bring the total tally of Irish Senior Records at this meet to seven.
Earlier Mona McSharry made her third Semi-Final of the week when swimming 1:04.59 to finish second in her 100m Breaststroke heat. This is the event in which McSharry became Ireland’s first Olympic finalist in 25 years at Tokyo 2020, and she goes into the Semi-Final in second position overall.
Niamh Coyne also swam in the 100m Breaststroke heats, swimming 1:06.44. This was her first event at these Championships, and it was a solid effort given that she found herself racing alone with two empty lanes beside her. She will hope for better fortune in Tuesday’s 200m Breaststroke heats.
Opening the day for Ireland, Danielle Hill returned to form in the 50m Backstroke, qualifying in 13th for the Semi-Finals with 27.17. Her lifetime best is the Irish Senior Record of 26.74, and she will be hoping to get closer to that on Sunday afternoon. The Semi-Finals start at 15:19 Irish time.
Calum Bain, from Tyrone and based at Stirling University in Scotland, finished his first World Championships with a lifetime best in 50m Butterfly. He shaved 0.13 off his previous best touching in 23.46 to finish 34th overall.
Bain also formed part of the Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay on Thursday which set a new Irish Senior Record of 3:12.94, and equalled his lifetime best time of 21.61 in the 50m Freestyle heats on Saturday.
All the action can be followed via fina.org.