Ireland’s top swimmers are making their final preparations for the week ahead of them at the LEN European Long Course Swimming Championships, which will be held in the Alfred Hajos Swimming Complex in Hungary’s capital Budapest.
Following the conclusion of the open water events last week, Ireland has six swimmers in the pool this week – three men and three women. They begin their campaign in the historical capital on Monday, with all but one team member in action on day one.
Budapest, which hosts the European Championships for the fourth time (1926, 1958, 2006, 2010) boasts an eight swimming pool championship complex, which is situated on the luscious Margaret island, a pedestrian-only island in the middle of the River Danube.
The Irish squad (pool swimmers) arrived in Budapest on Friday from a two-week training camp in Slovenia, where they trained under head coach Ronald Claes and performance director Peter Banks.
The squad is managed by team managers Alan Nocher and Anne Burdis. They were joined in Budapest by the rest of the team staff (physiotherapist, biomechanist, photographer and media liaison).
‘The team are all in great form and are looking really good in the pool,’ said an excited Peter Banks ahead of Monday’s start to the competition.
591 swimmers from 43 European federations will compete in Budapest and a total of 40 titles will be awarded. Olympic and world champion swimmers will be among those contesting the European titles, including Great Britain’s Rebecca Adlington, Italy’s Federica Pellegrini and local hero and six-time European Long Course Champion Laszlo Cseh (Hungary).
Irish swimmers in action on Monday are: Ryan Harrison (400m freestyle), Grainne Murphy (400m Individual Medley), Andrew Bree & Barry Murphy (100m breaststroke) and Melanie Nocher (200m backstroke). Heats start at 08.30am, semi-finals and finals begin at 4.00pm.