By John Kenny
Tallaght swimmer Brendan Hyland produced the swim of the evening on the final day of competition at the National Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin as he broke the Irish senior men’s 100m butterfly record.
The 18-year-old, who has now qualified for the US Open meet in July, produced a storming last 50 to take the gold medal in 54.50 seconds, point 15 of a second inside the record set by Stephen McQuillan four years ago.
Hyland had earlier set a new Irish junior record in the men’s 200m individual medley in a race won by Dolphin's Sean Leahy with Hyland second in 2.05.77.
London Olympian Sycerika McMahon, who had already qualified for the world championships before this year’s nationals, along with openwater swimmer Chris Byran, and 21-year-old Dubliner Fiona Doyle, was back in action in the final of the women’s 200m individual medley, where she took silver.
The event was won by Hungarian Katinka Hossou, a guest at the nationals this year, and also the European record holder for the discipline.
McMahon also announced that she would be leaving her base in Leander in Belfast to take up a scholarship at Texas A and M later this year.
At 18-years-old, and already a European medallist, McMahon has a bright future ahead of her in the sport and will hope that a move to the US will further help her undoubted talent and ambitions.
Fiona Doyle, who qualified for the worlds in the 100m breastroke on Saturday, was also action in the final of the women’s 200m breastroke, where she won the gold medal in 2.31.34, just outside the Irish record.
Disappointingly for Barry Murphy, his bid to make the worlds failed on Saturday, when he was outside the time required for the men’s 100 breastroke.
The 27-year-old could have made another attempt in the men’s 50 freestyle yesterday, but he pulled out of that event, preferring to wait to make another attempt at qualifying for the 100m breastroke at the TRI Nations meet in Glasgow in two weeks' time
The men’s 50m backstroke final produced the closest of finishes with Bangor’s Jordan Sloan (27.47) just getting to the wall .01 of a second ahead of David Prendergast of Kilkenny (27.48).
Jane Roberts retained her Irish title in the women’s equivalent claiming gold in 30.50.
Curtis Coulter rounded off the meet with a new Irish junior record in winning the men’s 50m freestyle.
The Ards SC swimmer knocked .32 off the previous record held by Conor Leaney.