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Sloan record puts seal on superb championships

By David Kelly

Jordan Sloan capped off what has been described as the best Ulster short course championships in 20 years with a stunning Irish senior record for the 400m freestyle.

The past three days saw Irish and Ulster records tumble relentlessly at Bangor Aurora, while 17-year-old Conor Ferguson finished his campaign at the British championships with 200m backstroke, 50m back silver and he placed fourth in the 100m event on Saturday night.

University of Ulster Jordanstown student Sloan seemed to have plateaued for a period but over the past fortnight, at the World championships and the Ulsters, he has taken off again. The Bangor swimmer clocked 3:43.30  to win gold, a time which would have placed him in the World final in Canada a week ago.

“I’m really pleased with that time — it came a week too late but it’s great. Things are going very well for me at the moment. The training is great but also I’m now in a good group which pushes each other on,” said 23-year-old Sloan, who will next year bid to qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Sloan also bagged the 50m backstroke Irish senior record on Saturday night, taking the mark away from Carrick teenager Ferguson within the space of 24 hours. “I was on the phone giving him a bit of stick!” quipped Sloan.

Emma and Rebecca Reid of Ards left the championships with a plethora of medals and records, while their clubmate James Brown won all three medley golds as well as 100m breaststroke silver and 100m butterfly bronze. Emma set a new Ulster senior record for the 100m butterfly of 59.43, while Rebecca clocked a new Irish junior record of 28.81 in the 50m backstroke behind champion Danielle Hill of Larne.

Former Swim Ireland president Michael Angus said: “That was a terrific championships, the best I can remember over the past 20 years. We had so many swimmers breaking records, it’s very encouraging for the future of the sport.”

Bangor clocked a new Irish senior record for the 4x200m free relay of 7:25.12

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