Mona McSharry had the best swim of her fledgling career as she claimed silver in the 200m breaststroke final at the European Junior Swimming Championships in Israel today.
The 16-year-old from Sligo shaved almost two seconds off her quickest time to finish second in a new Irish senior record time of 2:27.44.
McSharry, who had won gold in the 50m breaststroke on Wednesday, was the third fastest qualifier going into this afternoon’s final after a swim of 2:29.42 in yesterday’s semi-final.
The Marlins (Ballyshannon) swimmer led from the very start of the race to just five metres from the wall where Great Britain’s Layla Black got the touch in 2:27.31, with just a tenth of a second separating the two.
McSharry's time shattered her own Irish junior record of 2:29.22 and broke Fiona Doyle’s 2015 senior record of 2:27.63.
A delighted McSharry commented: "The 200m is a hard race to do and to be able to come out with a medal at all is great. To come second in an event that I wouldn’t be as fond of is just great at European level.
"I went out quite fast, faster than I had hoped this evening but it didn’t tire me out as much as I thought it would and I just pushed it on the last 50m, it’s painful but it’s worth it."
The Sligo swimmer is is back in the pool tomorrow for the heats of the 100m breaststroke, an the event in which she won silver in in 2016.
"I’m excited, I can’t wait to see the 100m now," she said. "it is the end of the week, I will be tired, long evening’s and early mornings, but we’ll see what happens."
Earlier in the day Rebecca Reid got day three underway for Ireland with a best time of 30.26 to win her heat of the 50m backstroke.
Swimming in the fastest heat of the 200m freestyle, Rachel Bethel concluded her championships with a swim of 2:04.32 to place 24th overall and Templeogue’s Ellen Walshe swam the 100m butterfly heats where she clocked 1:02.11.