Ireland Relay Seventh in Europe; Greene Progresses to Breaststroke Final - Swim Ireland (2024)

The first finals session of the 2024 European Aquatic Championships got underway in Belgrade, Serbia this evening and while the temperatures may have soared, the Irish contingent continued to perform impressively on the European stage including a European seventh place for the Men’s Freestyle Relay team and Tokyo Olympian Darragh Greene advancing to a European Final.

With the sun setting in the outdoor Sports Centre Milan Gale Muskatirovic, Ireland’s men’s quartet of Evan Bailey, Finn McGeever, Cormac Rynn and Jack Cassin stepped onto the European stage for the 4×200 Freestyle Relay Final. The team put on an excellent performance coming home quicker than their morning swim (7:18.71) in 7:17.97 to place seventh in Europe.

Speaking following the final, Cassin said: “It’s such an honour to be representing my country, we work so hard for this and it’s nice to see it in fruition. I train with two of them and Evan comes down frequently, it’s like one big family.”

McGeever added: “I’m delighted with that; we moved it on again tonight and got a faster time overall so I’m really happy. I sound like a broken record but I’m just really proud of the young lads that are here today.”

Bailey commented: “It hurt quite a lot, the 200 Free is a very demanding race but it was nice to be up against the best and learn a bit from them.”

Darragh Greene was the standout individual performer on the opening evening of finals in Belgrade. The Longford man can consider it a job well done as he returned to the blocks to go quicker than this morning’s swim (1:00.53) in 1:00.46, to finish fourth in his semi-final and progress in seventh overall to tomorrow’s Final.

Speaking following the semi-final, the National Centre (Dublin) swimmer said: “It’s good to get back for the final, seventh going back in and looking to move it on again with another faster time than the semis and heats. The goal heading into this meet was to get some good metre racing in and there’s no better way of practising your race skills, tactics and execution than racing itself.”

Greene will feature in the final on Tuesday which is set to get underway at 17:48 (IRL).

Greene’s teammate in Dublin, Eoin Corby, was also competing in the 100m Breaststroke Semi-Finals. Corby performed strongly, improving on his 1:01.39 from this morning, clocking 1:00.89 to finish 11th in Europe.

Rising star Lottie Cullen, who made her first international appearance in her morning swim, was back on the backstroke ledges for tonight’s semi-final. The National Centre (Ulster) swimmer came home in 14th in 2:15.57, just outside her lifetime best of 2:14.10.

Cullen said: “I’m really happy with it for my first senior international semi-final, it was faster than this morning which was what I was hoping for and not far off my best either so I’m happy with that. Before going in I wanted to have fun with it and not put too much pressure on the time, and just focus on the race process, so I really happy with how it came out.”

Like this morning, Max McCusker was the first Irish swimmer on the Belgrade blocks, featuring in the 50m Butterfly Semi-Final. The current Irish record holder came home in a time of 23.75 to finish a European 15th place. McCusker will be back in the pool on Wednesday for the 100m Butterfly.

Speaking following this evening’s semi-final, McCusker said: “I’m a little bit disappointed to be honest, I thought I’d be a bit faster, but it is what it is.”

Looking ahead to the 100 Butterfly on Wednesday, McCusker added: “It will be process-orientated really, the speed is lacking but maybe that’s coming off the back of trials, but this year there has been a lot of focus on the 100 rather than the 50 as it’s an Olympic event.”

Tuesday will see Shane Ryan, Oisin Tebite and Evan Bailey take to the blocks for the 100m Freestyle Heats. Ryan holds the fastest time of the trio in 48.49 after setting the Irish Record at the recent Irish Open. Niamh Coyne and Ellie McCartney compete in the 100m Breaststroke. 17-year-old John Shortt, having competed in two senior World Championships already, makes his senior European debut in the 200m Backstroke. Nathan Wiffen gets his Championships underway in the 800m Freestyle and Cullen, Corby, McCartney and Cassin will combine for the 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay.

In Diving, Clare Cryan gets the week underway for Ireland on the 1M Springboard.

Day 1 | Evening Results

Men 50 Butterfly Max McCusker H 23.72 (15th) SF 23.75 (15th)

Women 200 Backstroke Lottie Cullen H 2:16.95 (16th) SF 2:15.57 (14th)

Men 100 Breaststroke
Darragh Greene, H 1:00.53 (8th) SF 1:00.46 (7th)

Eoin Corby H 1:01.39 (17th) SF 1:00.89 (11th)

Uiseann Cooke H 1:02.89 (34th)

Men 4×200 Freestyle Relay Ireland H 7:18.71 (7th) F 7:17.97 (7th)

Day 2 Schedule

Swimming

Men 100m Freestyle Shane Ryan, Oisin Tebite, Evan Bailey

Women 100m Breaststroke Niamh Coyne, Ellie McCartney

Men 200m Backstroke John Shortt

Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay Ireland

Men 800m Freestyle Nathan Wiffen

Men 100m Breaststroke Final Darragh Greene

Diving

Women 1M Springboard Clare Cryan

Ireland Relay Seventh in Europe; Greene Progresses to Breaststroke Final - Swim Ireland (2024)
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