Sligo’s Mona McSharry has earned a spot in Tuesday night’s 100m breaststroke semi-final at the LEN European Aquatics Championships, having finished joint second in her heat in a time of 1:06.97.
The performance was her third swim under the FINA ‘A’ time for Tokyo 2021 and enough to see her advance to the semi-finals ranked joint 10th, her time just 0.99 slower than the fastest heat time of 1:05.98, set by Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni.
McSharry first achieved the Olympic consideration time in this event at Irish National Team Trials in April, swimming 1:06.97 in heats and her present Irish senior record of 1:06.29 in round two.
The 20-year-old’s last appearance at an international event for Ireland yielded a European Short Course Championships bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke.
Already on the hunt for an Irish medal at this championships is Conor Ferguson, who will be the first of Ireland’s swimmers to contest a final at this meet when lining up for the 50m backstroke final on Tuesday evening. It will be the Larne swimmer’s first appearance in a European final for an individual event.
Shortly afterwards, Ireland’s first-ever mixed 4x200m freestyle relay team will line up for their final, Max McCusker, Brendan Hyland, Naomi Trait, and Victoria Catterson having advanced from the heats on Tuesday morning in a time of 7:51.24.
That time set a new Irish senior record, which the same team will be attempting to beat in tonight’s final.
This event is not included in the Olympic or World Championships schedule but provides Ireland with a much-needed warm-up for the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay on Wednesday, which is an Olympic event, and one in which Ireland finished 16th at the World Championships in 2019.
The finals start at 5pm Irish time, McSharry’s event beginning at 5:31pm, Ferguson swimming at 6.18pm, and the relay off at 6:27pm.