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Successful Northern Ireland trio hopeful of making splash in senior career

By David Kelly

Northern Ireland swimmers Danielle Hill, Conor Ferguson and Emma Reid will return from the European junior championships in Hungary having bolstered the belief that a successful senior career is on the horizon.

Ferguson will come home with a silver medal in the 100m backstroke, while Reid made three semi-finals and yesterday Hill was placed eighth in the women's 100m backstroke final.

Hill had progressed from Saturday's semi-final to the 100m back final in a new Irish junior record of 1:02.56.

The Larne swimmer clocked another new Irish junior record in the final, touching in 1:02.53. Italian Tania Quaglieri took the gold medal in the event in 1:01.38.

In the women's 50m butterfly, Reid made it a hat-trick of semi-final places, having already progressed from the heats in the 100m and 200m events.

Reid swam a best time of 27.44 to progress to the semi-final in sixth place.

Touching in 27.58 in the semi-final, the 17-year-old placed 12th overall - just 0.18 away from the final.

On Saturday night, the mixed relay team of Ferguson, Reid, Mona McSharry and Gerry Quinn set a new Irish record of 3:54.09 to place sixth overall.

But there was disappointment for Ferguson in the 50m backstroke semi-finals when he was disqualified for not surfacing before the 15 metre mark.

McSharry, who swims for Marlins in Donegal, picked up her second medal of the championships when she won a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke, having won bronze in the 50m event earlier in the championships.

The Irish team finished their campaign with three medals, seven finals and 11 semi-finals with two senior records and five Irish junior records over the five days of competition.

Head coach Brian Sweeney said: "Overall this team has had a great week.

"There have been some great podium performances and some incredible racing.

"These athletes work hard every day in their clubs and with their coaches and that is the key to this improvement."

Belfast Telegraph

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