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Emotional Reid dedicates gold to her late nanny

By David Kelly

Emma Reid celebrated one of the most emotional gold medal winning performances of her young career at the Irish short course championships in Lisburn's Lagan Valley Leisureplex over the weekend.

Competing just two weeks after her grandmother passed away, the 17-year-old Ards swimmer produced a superb performance to just hold off UCD's Shauna O'Brien in the 50m butterfly final.

With just a fingertip between them as they came into the wall, Reid took the gold medal by just two hundredths of a second in 26.88.

"My nanny always told me to swim as hard as I could, she was my big inspiration for swimming in general and this race as well," said Emma, who broke the Ulster senior record held by Julie Douglas when clocking 27.09 in the morning heats.

"She loved watching me do the 50m and always came to the galas, so this is a special win for me.

"Winning this for her is right up there with anything I have done so far. It really means a lot to me."

Reid will now turn her attentions to the Ulster Championships in two weeks' time, although it is unclear whether or not her sister Rebecca will be competing after she damaged a finger which ruled her out of the final day of competition yesterday.

There was further success for Ards when Conor Munn stepped up to win the men's 50m butterfly in another dramatic encounter.

Munn was second at the turn but then just edged ahead of Benjamin Doyle, winning in 24.96 - four hundredths ahead of the Dubliner.

Lisburn's Rachel Bethel and Larne's Danielle Hill had the Lagan Valley Leisureplex crowd on their feet in the women's 200m freestyle final.

In an exciting finale, Bethel just got the touch in 2:00.87, six hundredths ahead of Hill - completing a freestyle hat-trick as she had already won the 400m and 800m.

Mona McSharry, meanwhile, broke the junior record and brought her medal tally to five.

The 16-year-old was pushed right to the end in the 200m breaststroke final by Castlebar's Dearbhail McNamara.

McSharry, though, was first to the wall, setting a new Irish junior best of 2:24.42.

McNamara took silver in 2:25.82.

Belfast Telegraph


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