Ballina’s Finn McGeever at the Irish National Swimming Team Trials at Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre last week. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Irish swimming record for Ballina’s McGeever

By Shane Brophy

Ballina’s Finn McGeever added his name to the Irish swimming record books at the National Team Trials in Dublin last week.

A member of the National Centre Limerick team, Finn McGeever broke his first Irish senior record in the 400m Freestyle Final with an impressive 3:52.83.

The 21-year-old dominated the final to go under Jack McMillan’s 2019 record of 3:53.31.

“I wasn’t expecting that at all,” said a delighted McGeever.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m pretty proud to have that title to my name. I knew it was going to be better than 3:59 from the 200 Free I did the other day, but I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

McGeever also finished second in the final of the 200m Freestyle in a time of 1:48.13, as he along with Jack McMillan, Jordan Sloan and Gerry Quinn currently sit just inside Olympic Qualification at 16th place in the world.

The National Trials were primarily open to Performance athletes training in recognised onshore training bubbles in the National Centre (Dublin) at the National Aquatic Centre, the National Centre (Limerick) at the University of Limerick and at Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, as well as those identified athletes of similar standing who are living and training offshore.

The competition comprised of a full Olympic individual event programme with heats, semi-finals, and finals in all 50m, 100m and 200m events and heats and finals in 400m, 800m and 1500m events.

Speaking about the five days of racing, Swim Ireland National Performance director Jon Rudd commented: “To have five FINA 'A' Olympic Qualifying times achieved at this stage from four athletes is a good place to be at this time, with two stages of our Olympic nomination process still to come.

“There have been some agonising near misses across the five days and those fine margins are the very essence of performance sport.

“Twelve Irish Senior Records have also been broken this week, another indicator that the nation continues to evolve.”

“We set stiff consideration standards for our relays to compete at the forthcoming European Championships in Budapest (in an attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games) and we now have five such relays that can be considered for selection to this event.

“There were 10 athletes over the course of the week that were close enough to the FINA 'A' time for them to go again in a final qualification attempt in June and we are already working on what this may look like in a challenging COVID environment.

“The job is not yet done for Tokyo - but the foundations are set".

Next up for Irish swimmers will be the European Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary from May 17th – 23rd.

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