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Golden boy Conor raring to go again after coming so close to Rio time

By David Kelly

Conor Ferguson was left utterly frustrated after just missing out on qualification for the Olympics by just five hundredths of a second at the Irish Open swimming championships in the National Aquatic Centre.

The 16-year-old set a new Irish senior record of 54.41 to win 100m backstroke gold but agonisingly fell short of the time needed for automatic qualification for Rio.

Despite the disappointment, all is not lost for the BRA student as he will be part of the Ireland 4x100 medley relay team today so the teenager will have another shot at becoming the youngest Irish male swimmer to make it to an Olympics.

"I just messed up my finish a bit and that cost me the time but I still have the relay and I know I'm swimming well," said Conor.

Ferguson's clubmate Danielle Hill also struck gold when she retained her 100m backstroke title with a time of 1:04.25.

There was further success for Ulster when Conor Munn of Ards took the Irish crown in the 50m butterfly, winning in 24.88. The Ards men took bronze in the 4x200m free relay, while their women's quartet struck gold.

Results: Men 400m IM Final: 1st R Stacchioti Luxembourg 4:23.08 2nd B Hyland Tallaght 4:29.87 3rd T Tsiopanis Uni of Bath 4:31.67

Women 400m IM Final: 1st *S Russell Canada 4:52.80 2ndM Ruszkowska Wales 5:01.11 3rd A Shorten Galway 5:03.54

Men 100m Backstroke Final: 1st C Ferguson Larne 54.41 2nd S Ryan NAC 54.93 3rd *G Feldbergs Switzerland 55.89

Women 100m Backstroke Final: 1st K Steins Latvia 1:01.85 2nd D Hill Larne 1:04.25 3rd I Hayes Sundays Well 1:05.03

Men 50m Butterfly Final: 1st I Staub SK Bern 24.58 2ndS Ryan NAC 24.63 3rdT Maurer SK Bern & C Munn Larne 24.88

Women 50m Butterfly Final: 1st S O'Brien UCD 27.34 2nd D Villars Switzerland 27.69 3rd E Reid Ards 27.74.

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