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Conor Ferguson notches a little piece of history

By David Kelly

Conor Ferguson is a young man destined to compete at the highest level of swimming and on the opening night of the Irish short course championships at the Lagan Valley Leisureplex he made history by breaking the two-minute barrier in the 200m backstroke.

Ferguson (15), took gold in a time of 1:59.19, making him the first Irish junior swimmer to go under two minutes and also the first Ulsterman to complete the same feat - thereby securing the Irish junior, Ulster junior and Ulster senior records.

The 200m backstroke success comes just a fortnight after he had lowered the Irish junior record to 2:00.55 at the Ulster championships and is now expected to strike more gold over the weekend.

While Ferguson was last night's star performer, Lisburn woman Bethany Carson sent out a clear message that she is over the ankle injury that ruined her season last year when picking up double gold.

Carson swam a personal best of 2:14.50 to take 200m IM gold and then returned for the 100m freestyle, taking gold in 55.89. Jamie Graham of Bangor won gold in the 50m free and 50m breast.

Women 800 Freestyle Final: 1st A Neamt Tallaght 8:35.68 2nd T Corry Portmarnock 8:55.18 3rd S Hickey Limerick 9:10.43.

Men 50m Freestyle Final: 1st J Graham Bangor 22.89 2nd C Coulter Ards 22.93 3rd C Bain Cookstown 23.14.

Women 100m Breaststroke Final: 1st D McNamara Castlebar 1:11.03 2nd Niamh Kilgallen Claremorris 1:11.07 3rd M McSharry 1:12.70.

Men 200m Backstroke Final: 1st C Ferguson Larne 1:59.19 IJR 2nd R McEvoy Ennis 2:01.45 3rd B Griffin Aer Lingus 2:03.02.

Women 200m Butterfly Final: 1st M Rosa MKS 2:14.49 2nd S Kelly Claremorris 2:15.53 3rd C Flood Tallaght 2:16.20.

Men 100m Butterfly Final: 1st B Hyland Tallaght 54.64 2nd C Duffy Galway 54.73 3rd D O'Sullivan Galway 55.35.

Women 50m Backstroke Final: 1st E Cassidy Sunday Well 29.63 2nd K Kavanagh Galway 29.64 3rd D Hill Larne 29.73.

Men 50m Breaststroke Final: 1st J Graham Bangor 28.13 2nd S O'Brien Aer Lingus 29.63 3rd E Crowley Mallow 29.82.

Women 200m IM Final: 1st B Carson Lisburn 2:14.50 2nd M Rosa MKS 2:18.01 3rd Bethany Firth Ards 2:18.57.

Men 400m Freestyle Final: 1st B Cahill Ennis 3:51.54 2nd B Gibbons Athlone 3:51.57 3rd J Chan Quee Lin 3:56.61

Women 100m Freestyle Final: 1st B Carson Lisburn 55.89 2nd B Firth Ards 56.56 3rd D Hill Larne 57.20

Men 100m IM Final: 1st C Duffy Galway 56.78 2nd G Quinn Longford 56.97 3rd A Corby Limerick 57.75

Men 4x100m MTR Final: 1st Ards 3:49.35 2nd Bangor 3:49.98 3rd Galway 3:50.19

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