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Ferguson sets new record in the 200m backstroke

By Staff Reporter

Conor Ferguson kicked off his new season where he left off last year with another record-breaking performance on the opening night of the Ulster short course championships in the Laganvalley Leisureplex.

Ferguson, a Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist in the summer, stormed to victory in the 200m backstroke, the 16-year-old clocking a new Irish senior record of 1:57.22. Silver went to Bangor's Jack McMillan, the 15-year-old clocking 2:07.82.

There was double gold joy for Bethy Firth, the Paralympic champion triumphing in the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly.

Firth, who is expected to represent Great Britain and NI at the Games next year, just managed to hold off talented 15-year-old Lisburn girl Rachel Bethel in 100m free. Firth touched for gold in 56.98 with Bethel clocking 57.04. Bronze went to 16-year-old Danielle Hill in 57.14. Bethel earlier won the 800m free in 8:52.82.

Firth then edged out club-mate Emma Reid in the 50m fly, winning in 27.77. Reid clocked 28.17, while Hill picked up another bronze.

Emma's 14-year-old sister Rebecca won the 200m backstroke in 2:18.27 ahead of Larne girl Hill, 2:19.13, while Cai Armstrong of Ards won the 100m breast ahead of club-mate Matthew Scott.

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