Hat Trick of Gold for Mona McSharry on Final Night of Action in Dublin

Istvan Derencsenyi – LEN

Ireland’s McSharry closed the curtain on a fantastic meet in the capital, topping the podium once again to do a clean sweep in the breaststroke events. 

Mona McSharry maintained her winning streak on the final night of action at the National Aquatic Centre, winning the Women’s 200m Breaststroke and a third European U23 title. 

Leading from the start, McSharry took the race out hard; splitting 1:09.35 at the 100m mark to finish just outside her own national record mark of 2:24.50. 

Her winning time of 2:25.49 was followed by GBR’s Elizabeth Booker who battled her way to her first podium finish of the meet to take silver in 2:26.37. Bronze went to national record holder Ana Blazevic (CRO) in 2:26.61. 

Speaking after her win, McSharry said: “I was a bit nervous going into it but the crowd really spurred me on, walking out and hearing all of you guys I thought ‘I just have to go for this from the start and if we die, we die but at least we gave it everything’. 

“It’s for these moments,” she added. “Making friends; sitting in the call room and chatting with people who are all doing the same thing. Sometimes you definitely do question ‘why do I put myself through this’, but it is to feel like that in the water, to feel like you’re gliding and really on top of the world.”

Pieter Coetze (RSA) claimed his third commemorative medal of the meet in the Men’s 100m Backstroke, touching first in the final with his time of 53.44. 

Jonathon Adam (GBR), who won European gold in yesterday’s 50m distance, added a second European gold to his arsenal (53.67). Kai Van Westering (NED) and Evangelos Makrygiannis (GRE) won silver and bronze, stopping the clock in 54.08 and 54.50, respectively. 

Slovenia’s Neza Klancar dominated in the final of the Women’s 50m Butterfly; the sprint specialist hitting the wall first in 26.02. 

She added a third gold medal to her collection, having won the Women’s 50m Freestyle yesterday in a new national record time of 24.76, and taking the Women’s Skins title to round out day two finals. 

Aleyna Ozkan (TUR) stormed to a silver medal in a new national record time of 26.17, shaving 0.02 off her own previous mark in this event. Poland’s Julia Maik completed the trio for bronze in a time of 26.26. 

Great Britain did a 1-3 finish in the Men’s 100m Freestyle with Ed Mildred and Alexander Cahoon finishing as the first and third Europeans, respectively. 

Mildred’s time of 48.90 was one of only two that broke the 49-second mark, the other coming from USA’s Patrick Sammon who won a commemorative medal for his overall win in 48.53. 

Ralph Daleiden (LUX), who was first seed heading into this final, took silver in 49.06. 

Germany’s Isabel Gose became triple European U23 champion as she swam to victory in the Women’s 1500m Freestyle. 

A commanding display saw her setting the pace from the beginning, finishing with a time of 16:02.89. A race behind her saw Paige McKenna (USA) getting her hand to the wall first ahead of Celine Rieder (GER), touching in 16:22.76 and 16:23.17, respectively. 

That delivered a commemorative medal for the American, with the silver European medal going to Rieder. 

Due to the two-nation per podium rule, bronze went to Italy’s Giulia Salin (16:26.10), though a time of 16:25.54 from Germany’s Leonie Maertens in the morning heat delivered a top three European time for her.

In the night’s other finals, national record holder Aviv Barzelay (ISR) claimed her first podium finish and European title of the meet in the Women’s 200m Backstroke with a time of 2:11.35. 

Lotte Hosper (NED) and Reka Nyidari (HUN) completed the European podium with their times of 2:13.47 and 2:13.98. Isabelle Stadden (USA) claimed another commemorative medal, touching ahead of the field in 2:09.31.

A blanket finish in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke final delivered one of the tightest finishes of the entire meet. 

Poland’s Jan Kalusowski got his fingertips to the wall first, claiming the European title in 1:00.30. Koen De Groot (NED) was just 0.07 behind in 1:00.30 for silver, with bronze going to Luca Janssen (NED) in 1:00.52. 

Of note, short course world junior record holder, Simona Cerasuolo (ITA), was disqualified for a false start. 

A strong finish earned Slovenian national record holder, Janja Segel, earned her gold on the final night of racing in the Irish capital (54.66). 

She touched just 0.01 ahead of second-place finisher, Grace Cooper (USA), who clocked a time of 54.67. Panna Urgai (HUN) and Kornelia Fiedkiewicz (POL) completed the European podium in 55.10 and 55.17, respectively. 

A lifetime best, second gold medal and new Greek national record came from Stergios-Marios Bilas in the Men’s 50m Butterfly.

Bilas posted a time of 23.16, shaving 0.03 off the previous record set by Kristian Gkolomeev back in 2018. 

Gold medal winner in the 100m distance, Simon Bucher (AUT), claimed silver in 23.30, while bronze went to Rasmus Nickelsen (DEN) in 23.57. 

In the penultimate individual event of the competition, Ron Polonsky (ISR) became European champion in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley in 1:58.07, just a touch outside his own Israeli national record of 1:57.99. 

Silver went to Hungary’s Gabor Zombori, who bettered his bronze medal from the 400m distance the day previous in a time of 1:59.17. Eytan Ben Shitrit (ISR) added a second bronze medal to his collection, touching in 1:59.47. 

Matthew Sates (RSA) was the only swimmer to break the 1:58-mark in 1:57.78 for a commemorative medal. 

The last individual event of the inaugural European U23 Swimming Championships saw Germany claiming a fifth gold medal as Sven Schwarz stormed to victory in the Men’s 800m Freestyle. 

A time of 7:41.77 won gold for him in what was a two second lifetime best time. Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen and European Record holder in this event rounded out his meet with a third podium finish, winning silver in 7:45.59. 

The bronze medal was won by Luca De Tullio (ITA) in 7:48.20. 

The visiting team from the United States claimed the last gold medal(s) on offer in the Mixed 4x100m Freestyle final. Their time of 3:27.35 bested the rest of the field, with Poland touching the wall second in 3:28.32 to claim European gold. 

Silver and bronze were won by the teams from Great Britain and Germany, who touched the wall for the final time at this meet in 3:28.52 and 3:28.90, respectively. 

Ireland topped the gold medal table at the end of racing in the capital, with six top podium finishes in total.