Monday 11 December 2017

Swimming: Cooney finds form after nightmare year

Mark O'Driscoll

AISLING Cooney believes she is back to her best after an impressive victory in the 100m backstroke at the Irish Open and Youth championships in the NAC last night.

Cooney has had a nightmare 12 months, starting with the heart attack suffered by her highly respected coach Bill McCarthy that forced a training camp switch to Limerick.

That move didn't work out and she then failed to qualify for next month's European championships.

But for the past three months she has been back working with McCarthy in Dublin and yesterday she clocked a 1:02.79 to win the 100m, ahead of Ulster woman Chelsey Wilson, who was timed at 1:05.46.

"It's been a very tough time for me," said Beijing Olympian Cooney.

"I was so disappointed when I didn't make the Europeans, but this swim has shown me that I am back where I want to be looking ahead to my next big goal which is the World short course championships in December."

In the men's 100m backstroke Kilkenny's Colm Dowling was the fastest Irishman, taking bronze and the Irish title in 59.41, just a tenth ahead of Dubliner Karl Burdis.

Gold went to Frenchman Eddie Moueddene in 56.45 with his countryman Matthieu Baumann second in 59.08.

Sycerika McMahon, who won a bronze medal at the European junior championships last week, took gold in the 50m breaststroke in 32.85 ahead of South African Kelly Gunnel.

The women's 200m free was won by Ulster's Bethany Carson in 2:06.00, with the men's event going to Ulsterman Conor Leaney in 1:52.98.

Irish Independent

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