SWIMMING: Ferguson targets Olympic time in European semi-final

Conor Ferguson from Larne Swimming Club arriving back at George Best airport after winning a gold and two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Samoa. US1537-576cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Conor Ferguson from Larne Swimming Club arriving back at George Best airport after winning a gold and two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Samoa. US1537-576cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Conor Ferguson is through to the 100m backstroke semi-final on the opening day of competition at the LEN European Swimming Championships in London.

The 16-year-old, making his senior international debut, swam a morning-best time of 55.06, finishing fifth in his heat and progressed to the semi-final in 12th place overall.

“I’m feeling good, a bit more nervous than usual at my first senior meet, so to go that fast in the heat is pretty good,” said the Larne Swimming Club talent. “It’s all about seeing how much I can improve on tonight, I’ll go back and look at my splits and see from there. The atmosphere here is incredible, the pool’s great.

“I’m going to push to get that Olympic time, I always said it would be a bonus and I do believe I’m capable of getting it but the goal from the start of the year has always been to win European Juniors so if it doesn’t happen, it’s not meant to be”.

The 100m Backstroke semi-final takes place tonight at 6.17pm.

Another Larne swimmer, Danielle Hill made her senior international debut in the 200m backstroke.

The 17-year-old Carnmoney native placed 2nd in her heat in 2 minutes 21.55 seconds.