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Ambitious Conor has double vision in World Championship

By David Kelly

Conor Ferguson will bid to show the world that he’s ready for an exciting summer when competing at the Irish long course championships this week. The Carrickfergus teenager starts his campaign on the opening day of competition tomorrow  morning as he seeks to set qualifying times for the World senior and junior championships.

Based at Ellesmere College in Cheshire since September, Conor says he has been thriving in an environment filled with swimmers of a similar standard and most importantly the same desire to become a senior competitor at the highest level.

Ellesmere coach Alan Bircher has Conor focused on the world stage this summer and this meet is the one in which he has to deliver the times — a new rule brought in by new Swim Ireland High Performance Director Jon Rudd.

Conor said: “I love the fact there is now a bit more pressure to get your qualification times at one event. It used to be you would have a few meets but not now and I like that. I think it will bring out the best in me.

“I’m feeling very good going into the championships. I believe I can do some good times and do what I need to.

“At the moment I would say that my main goal is the World juniors in Indianapolis at the end of August — I want to go there and get a medal.

“Of course the World senior championships is an option if I do the time but I’ll leave that decision up to my coach Alan and Jon Rudd.”

While the backstroker is focused on his 100m event tomorrow, he does have one matter to attend to. “I have to get a hair cut! Brendan Hyland will get me sorted in Dublin,” he added.

“Brendan should have some great races with Larne’s Conor Brines this week and the freestyle relay between my club Bangor and UCD should be interesting — there’s been a bit of chat from the UCD lads.”

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