Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Swimming: Leaney's a record hit as Bangor enjoy golden run

Conor Leaney celebrates his record-breaking victory in the 200m freestyle ath the Grove Centre last night

Conor Leaney last night announced himself as a new gem in Ulster swimming.

The 16-year-old Larne lad left everyone - including himself - gasping as he shaved a massive four seconds off the Ulster junior record for the 200m freestyle.

Leaney blasted home to take gold in a new junior record time of 1:51.74 - the previous best was set by Lisburn's David Simpson nine years ago.

"I can't believe it. I never expected to do a time like that but it shows me that the extra hard training that I've been doing has paid off," said Leaney.

Not only did he smash the previous best - Andrew Bree is the only Ulsterman to have gone quicker - but he also pushed Irish champion Kevin Stacey into second as he touched in 1:52.42.

Bronze went to Robert Hoal of Bangor, whose clubmates Julie Douglas and Clare Dawson served up a thrilling 100m freestyle final.

Dawson caused the shock of the day when she edged out Douglas, with Bethany Carson - winner of the 800m free title - third.

Well outside her Ulster senior record, Douglas touched in 57.02, just behind Dawson, 56.75, who is fresh from success at the Bath Grand Prix.

In the morning session Douglas, Dawson along with Alison Pugh and Ashleigh Hyland set a new Irish senior record of 2:00.82 for the 4x50m medley relay in a time trial.

That was followed by Bangor lads Robert Hoal, Simon Dickson, Keith Frizzell and Daniel Warwick setting a new Ulster junior record of 1:53.52 for the 4x50m medley relay.

Bangor's women also won the 4x200m freestyle relay.

The Bangor day of success continued as Douglas landed gold in the 50m freestyle, ahead of clubmates Dawson and 13-year-old Jodie Falls.

Douglas, who has been training in Australia, came home in 28.46 with Dawson clocking 29.09.

The gold kept coming for the north Down club as Hyland clocked 1:13.93 to win the 100m breaststroke ahead of Orla McGandy of Enniskillen, 1:15.39.

Adam McNulty of City of Derry won the 50m back in 28.43 with Bangor lad Hoal second in 28.75.

McNulty's clubmate 17-year-old Ryan Harrison took gold in the 400m individual medley, clocking 4:37.61 ahead of Christopher Hughes of 15-year-old Ards, 4:49.81 and Bangor's Simon Dickson, 4:49.99.

Mark Craig of Ards rolled back the years to claim the 200m breaststroke in 2:26.53 with clubmate 15-year-old Michael Dawson second in 2:27.34 and Wilson Logan of Larne third in 2:30.30.

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