Belfast Telegraph

Conor Ferguson and Emma Reid smash records at Bangor's Aurora Centre

David Kelly

Conor Ferguson was in record-breaking form at the Ulster short course championships in Bangor's Aurora Centre last night.

Ferguson caught the eye with an outstanding performance in the 200m backstroke, setting a new Ulster junior record of 2:03.99.

The 14-year-old, who bagged three gold medals at the British Age Groups in Sheffield in the summer, finished well clear of City of Derry's Cormac Gillen and he is expected to bag more gold over the weekend.

Ferguson's dad Peter was naturally delighted with the performance and said that even his son's Larne coach Peter Hill was surprised by just how quick he was.

"Conor's coach actually thought he would do a 2:05, he wasn't expecting a 2:03 so it was very pleasing," said Peter.

"He's got the Irish championships in a couple of weeks time and he feels that with stronger competition he can go quicker," he added.

"He's looking forward to taking on the best in Ireland."

Emma Reid, also 14, produced a record-breaking display in the women's 50m butterfly.

The Ards swimmer blasted off the blocks and broke the record held by Irish number one Sycerika McMahon, clocking a new best of 28.66. McMahon's time was 29.06, set in 2009.

Reid's clubmate Bethany Firth picked up silver on what proved to be a very successful night for the north Down club.

Paralympic gold medallist Firth kicked off the opening finals night with gold in the 100m freestyle, clocking a time of 57.85 – just ahead of Bangor's Mary Kate McDowell, 58.09.

Then 16-year-old James Brown clocked the third and final junior record of the night in the 100m individual medley.

Brown finished second overall in a new junior best of 58.39 behind clubmate Curtis Coulter, 58.02.

Brown also took gold in the 400m IM with 4:27.81, ahead of Morgan Berryman of City of Belfast.

Gemma Kane of Bangor also sparkled when she took gold in the 100m breaststroke, 1:14.79.

Her team-mate Jordan Sloan won the 200m free in 1:50.29.

Enniskillen's Chelsey Wilson completed a double in the 200m backstroke, 2:11.78, and 100m IM, 1:05.50.

Belfast Telegraph

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