Thursday 24 January 2019

Ireland's Shane Ryan smashes his PB to qualify fastest from the heats of the 50m backstroke at the European Championships

Shane Ryan
Shane Ryan Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ireland's Shane Ryan cemented his place as a medal favourite at the European Swimming Championships in Glasgow by winning his heat of the 50m backstroke in style.

The Pennsylvania-born swimmer, whose father hails from Portarlington in Laois, swam a personal best and an Irish record to win heat six in a personal best time of 24.32.

His time shaved almost four tenths of a second off his previous best and is under three tenths of a second off the world record.

Ireland's Conor Ferguson also qualified for tonight's semi-final by coming fourth in heat five and finishing in 11th overall with a swim of 25.08.

The semi-finals take place at 5.25pm.

Unfortunately for Ryan and Ferguson, the 50m backstroke is not an Olympic event.

Another Irish record followed in the heats of the 100m breaststroke.

Darragh Greene finished fifth in the final heat in a time of 1:00.20 to shave one hundredth of a second off his personal best. He qualified in 11th overall.

Greene's semi-final is at 5.39pm.

Alex Murphy failed to advance from the heats. He swam a time of 1:02.49.

Ireland 4x100m relay team of Ryan, David Thompson, Jordan Sloan and Robbie Powell took two seconds off the Irish record and came within seven tenths of a second of claiming a place in the final, finishing in 12th overall.

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