SWIMMING: Ferguson within touching distance of Olympic time

Conor Ferguson
Conor Ferguson

East Antrim’s Conor Ferguson came withing fourth tenths of a second of registering an Olympic qualifying time on the opening day of the Irish Open Swimming Championships.

Competing in Thursday’s 100m backstroke semi-final, Jordanstown teen Ferguson came agonisingly close to the 54.36 grade. However, with Shane Ryan and Girts Feldbergs to race against in Friday’s final, a time for Rio is well within reach for the Larne Swimming Club member.

Ferguson in action in the pool.

Ferguson in action in the pool.

In the women’s event, Kristina Steins (1:02.41) was the fastest qualifier with Carnmoney girl Danielle Hill (Larne Swimming Club) the first placed Irish swimmer in 1:03.79.

In the 200m freestyle the Irish Junior record, set by Ballynure’s Conor Leaney in 2009 (1:50.98) was broken by 18-year-old Longford swimmer Gerry Quinn.