SWIMMING: Conor Ferguson eyes Olympic qualification time

Conor Ferguson
Conor Ferguson

East Antrim swimming sensation Conor Ferguson has his sights set on clinching an Olympic qualification time at this week’s Irish Open Championships.

The 16-year-old, who hails from Jordanstown and is a member of Larne Swimming Club, will be one to watch in the coming days. Back in March he came agonisingly close to the FINA A Olympic time at the Dave McCullagh Meet, coming within .27 of a second of the 54.36 100m backstroke grade.

Conor Ferguson from Larne Swimming Club arriving back at George Best Belfast City Airport after medal success at last year's  Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. US1537-576cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Conor Ferguson from Larne Swimming Club arriving back at George Best Belfast City Airport after medal success at last year's Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. US1537-576cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Ferguson will also be part of an Ireland 4 x 100m medley relay team which will be aiming to post a time that could qualify Ireland for the Olympic Games for the first time.

There are just 16 places at the Games for relays, the top 12 countries from the World Championships in 2015 already secured their places, meaning the fastest four teams outside of the 12 on May 31 will claim a spot. This will be one of two opportunities for the team to post a time with the second coming at the European Championships.

Ireland’s junior swimmers will be aiming to qualify for the European Junior Championships in Hungary. Fourteen have already made the grade and they will all be in action as they continue their preparations for the July event. Carnmoney teenager Danielle Hill (Larne Swimming Club) set a Junior Irish Records in the past month and she will be hoping to shave a few seconds off her time this weekend.

Swim Ireland’s Irish Open Swimming Championships begin on Thursday (April 28)