Walshe’s wonders at Irish Open

by Stephen Findlater
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TEMPLEOGUE’S Ellen Walshe emerged as one of the big stars of the Irish Open Swimming Championships as she posted four lifetime bests, landing her fourth national title into the bargain.

She set the tone on the opening day of the event when she secured the 50m butterfly crown for the first time with a strong personal best of 27.29 seconds.

A day later, she smashed her best time for the 400m individual medley by seven seconds to lad home the field.

Day three and a third gold was coming her way in one of her favourite events, the 200m butterfly as she won the national title for a fourth successive year, once again beating her best mark, lowering it to 2.14.42.

She completed a superb week of racing with another gold medal swim in the women’s 100m butterfly.

It concluded a fine weekend for the club overall who entered a 15-strong team overall. Medals were also won by Robyn Lynch, Sean McNicholl, Joe Kenny, Cara Osing and Ethan Brady along the way.

It was also a successful week for Tallaght’s Brendan Hyland and Niamh Coyne – now swimming under the high performance National Centre banner – at the gala.

Hyland, having broken the 200m Butterfly Irish Record on Friday, took his second National Title and second Irish Record in as many days in the 200m Individual Medley.

An outstanding swim from the National Centre Dublin swimmer saw him take over half a second off James Brown’s 2017 Record of 2:02.09.

Hyland clocked 2:01.52 for gold ahead of Bangor’s Jack McMillan (2:02.98) and National Centre Limerick’s Cillian Melly (2:03.84).

And, for good measure, he took the 100m title on Sunday evening for the eighth successive year in a time of 53.07 and his fourth trophy of the weekend.

Coyne took down the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke golds.

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