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.
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.