By John Kenny

Barry Murphy and Fiona Doyle won gold in the men’s and women’s 50-metre breaststroke respectively on the opening night of the National Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre.

The four-day Nationals this year are also qualifiers for the Worlds and while the 50m breaststroke is a world championship event, the swimmers can only qualify from the longer 100 metres event, the heats of which are on Friday morning.

Murphy, like Doyle, is looking to make the A qualifying standard time for July's World Championship in Barcelona, won this evening in 27.53 seconds, while Doyle, who is based in Canada at the University of Calgary, won gold in the in the women’s race in 31.89 seconds.

Aer Lingus swimmer Andrew Meegan began the 2013 meeting by breaking his own Irish Senior Record for the men’s 1500m in a time of 15 mins 38.14, which is a B qualifying standard, but is not be good enough to get a place on the Irish squad as Swim Ireland are only taking A qualifying standard swimmers.

The two other big individual races of the night featured Hungary’s Katinka Hosszú, a London Olympic finalist, and Irish Olympian, 18-year-old Sycerika McMahon.

Hossou, an agonising fourth in the 400m individual medley final in London won the women’s 200m freestyle (1.59.57) with McMahon, who has already qualified for the worlds, taking silver.

Hossou repeated that win in the 200m butterfly final in a time of 2 mins 12.24 seconds, with McMahon again taking silver.

Ards set a new Irish junior record in winning the men’s 4x100 freestyle relay in 3 min 31.28 seconds, while UCD won the women’s race.

Results Irish National Swimming Championships Day 1

Men's 1500m Freestyle
1 Andrew Meegan (Aer Lingus) 15.38.14 (ISR)
2 Brendan Gibbons (Athlone)
3 Conor Turner (Aer Lingus)

Women's 1500m Freestyle
1 Reem Kasem (Egypt Squad) 17.07.67
2 Matra Rui Daminguez (Athlone)
3 Lisa Comerford (UCD)

Men's 200m Freestyle
1 Sean Leahy (Dolphin) 1.51.92
2 Seamus Stacy (NUIM)
3 Mathew Parks (Edinburgh)

Women's 200m Freestyle
1 Katinta Hossou (Hungary) 1.59.57
2 Sycerika McMahon (Leander)
3 Bethany Carson (Lisburn)

Men's 200m Butterfly
1 Brendan Hyland (Tallaght) 2.00.33
2 Ahmed Akram Abbas (Egypt Squad)
3 David O’Sullivan (Galway)

Women's 200m Butterfly
1 Katinta Hossou (Hungary) 2.12.24
2 Sycerika McMahon (Leander)
3 Sarah Kelly (Comans)

Men's 50m Breaststroke
1 Barry Murphy (Aer Lingus) 27.53
2 Ahmed Kamaledin (Eqypt Squad)
3 Ihab Al Far (Eqypt Squad)

Women's 50m Breaststroke
1 Fiona Doyle (Portmarnock) 31.89
2 Mai Atef (Eqypt Squad)
3 Niamh Kilgallen (Claremorris)

Men's 4x100 Freestyle Relay
1 Ards 3.31.28 (IJR)
3 Aer Lingus

Women's 4x100 Freestyle Relay
1 UCD 3.59.38
2 Kilkenny
3 Lisburn