Another great day on Saturday in Limerick with many new national records broken. The feat of the meet must have been the breaking of 4 records in the one swim by Tony O’Brien of Aer Lingus. He broke the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 records during his swim on Friday night. The challenge is now – can anyone break all 6 freestyle records in the one swim?
The gala, which has nearly a full complement of events at this stage, was run in a very efficient manner thanks to the officials – Mary Phelan, Pat O’Donovan and the members of Limerick SC.
The highlights of the gala must be the swims of Norma Cahill and John Rielly whose times were 106% and 111% of their respective world record times and they deserved to win the Limerick 1500 and Limerick 50 trophies respectively.
It was also great to see an increasing overseas contingent with Potters Bar SC and Otter SC, (UK), Sigma Swim Birkerod (Denmark) and Nedre Ltu (Lithuania) competing for the first time, ever present City of Glasgow Masters, Warsaw Masters and Spondon SC.
The increasing importance of Masters swimming on the Swim Ireland agenda was recognized by the presence of Sarah Keane CEO of SI and Peter Banks who is the lead coach of the SI high performance set up. Sarah was present to address the clubs and fill them in on the current programme being followed by SI which will assist Masters clubs develop and increase participation while Peter addressed the development squad members giving food for thought as to how the HP set up in SI may be able to assist them achieve their goals. These were two very significant meetings and outlined a commitment by SI to masters swimming inn terms of developing our sport.
After the swimming there was a ‘hoolie” in the Strand Hotel which was well attended and went on into the small hours. As is said – the craic was mighty, whatever that means !!!
See you all next year - congrats to all involved.
Best Irish team – Aer Lingus SC,
Best Overseas Team – Potters Bar SC,
Best Irish Male Swimmer – Paul Emmet – Half Moon SC,
Best Overseas Male Swimmer – Ian Bays – Potters Bar SC,
Best Irish Female Swimmer – Claire O’Dwyer – Dublin SC,
Best Overseas Female Swimmer – Irene Allen – City of Glasgow
Limerick 1500 Trophy – Swim nearest World Record in Age Group - Norma Cahill – Ennis Masters
Limerick 50 Trophy - Swim nearest World Record in Age Group –John O’Rielly – Limerick Masters SC