Five golds for magical McMahon

Irish swimmer Sycerika McMahon won five gold medals on the opening day of the Irish Short Course swimming championships in Lisburn yesterday.

The European bronze medallist was the star of day one and picked up her first gold in the 800m freestyle in a time of 8:50.86, over five seconds ahead of NAC High Performance Centre swimmer Antoinette Neamt (8:55.62). Neamt, at just 11-years-old, is a member of Swim Ireland’s National Youth Squad.

McMahon went on to win the 100m breaststroke (1:08.30), 200m butterfly (2:13.71) and 100m freestyle (56.07) but her most impressive swim of the night was in the 200m individual medley when in winning gold she set a new Irish senior record of 2:12.35.

In this event Lisburn’s Bethany Carson (2:14.06) finished in second with UCD’s Shani Stallard (2:18.17) third.

McMahon’s European SC team-mate Brendan Gibbons (3:55.14) set a new Irish Junior Record in the men’s 400m freestyle heats. Gibbons then went on to take silver in the evenings final in another junior record time of 3:54.21. He was narrowly defeated by Aer Lingus’ Andrew Meegan (3:53.78).

17-year-old Jack Cobain won the men’s 200m backstroke final, clocking 2:03.50. The Portmarnock swimmer then won silver (55.95) in the 100m butterfly with just .02 of second separating him from the events winner David O’Sullivan (55.93) Galway SC.

2008 Beijing Olympian Aisling Cooney won the women’s 50m backstroke final in 29.49 with Emma Cassidy (30.36) in second. Elsewhere, Botond Solymossy (23.05) Atlantis SC beat off Mathew Coward (23.36) NAC and David Prendergast (23.48) Kilkenny to take gold in the men’s 50m freestyle final.

Competition continues today.


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