Positive Report on 2019 Irish Open Championships

Observations on the 2019 Long Course National Championships

These Championships were held over five days in the NAC Dublin at the end of March. There were World Class swims from Darragh Greene (100 & 200 breast stroke), Brendan Hyland (200 fly), Shane Ryan (100 back), Jordan Sloan &Jack McMillan (200 free) and Niamh Coyne (100 breast stroke). The most prominent visitor was Hanna Miley from Scotland. The previous European Champion and fourth place winner in the last two Olympic Games in the 400 IM is now 30, and still swimming well. She gave a master class in race preparation and won a large number of events.

The only downsides were the absence of relays and the lack of a club points competition. I believe that both of these issues are vital in fostering team spirit and will be raising their omission at the upcoming Swim Ireland AGM.

SWSC had 12 swimmers at this meet including Para brothers Sean and Cian O’Riordan. Both qualified for this summer’s Para World Championships and Sean in particular swam a great 400 free, beating the QT by four seconds. The team achieved 24 personal best times and reached 27 Senior or Youth (female 17 & U; male 18 & U) finals. All of their times are listed elsewhere on the website. Podium positions were reached by Andrew Feenan (3rd in the Youth 100 breast stroke), Ellen Lee (3rd in the Youth 50 back); Beth Nolan (3rd in the Youth 100 back & 200 breast stroke) and Aoife O’Shea (3rd in the Youth 400IM).

Beth also broke the SWSC record in the 100 breast stroke, and Paul Higgins swam under the minute for the first time in the 100 fly. (The first Irish Senior man to break the minute for the 100 SC fly was “Chalkie” White in Douglas in 1978). Special mention goes to Luc Gallant and Sharon Semskiy who competed despite being in the final stages of Leaving Cert preparation. Together they swam in four Senior finals.

So what did I, as a Sport Scientist, particularly note?

  • The best swimmers had a much more organised and extensive warm-up routine both on land and in the pool, than SWSC swimmers. They also had a much more vigorous pre-start routine (as exemplified by Hanna Miley) and did much more warm down swimming.
  • They are more powerful from extensive land work and more flexible in the shoulders, lower back, hips, knees and ankles.
  • They combine great conditioning with superb technique (see free daily GoSwim videos).

TFC                                                                                                                 8 April 2019

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