New European swimming champion Danielle Hill bids for more glory ...

21 Jun 2024
Danielle Hill

Newly minted European champion Danielle Hill was back in the pool on Friday morning at the European Aquatic championships in Belgrade.

Competing in the heats of the 100m backstroke, the Larne swimmer demonstrated she was fully focussed; she went through to the next round as the top seed after posting a time of 1:00.62.

“I’m really happy, my mission coming into today was could I park the emotion of last night, get back in this morning and be on it again. That swim is impressive, especially with the emotion of last night.”

“When I get to Paris, it will be a case of can I make it to the next round, I’m learning how to swim in the morning and go through the processes. The process for Paris will be can I make it through the next round, and we go from there. I’m really happy with that and we look forward to tonight.”

Lottie Cullen, swimming her favoured event, will join Hill tonight in the 100m backstroke semi-final after she posted 1:02.54, placing tenth. Cullen will swim her third semi-final this week on her maiden appearance donning the Irish cap.

Jack Cassin made his first individual appearance at a senior international meet in the 200m butterfly heat. The National Centre (Limerick) swimmer came home in a personal best of 1:59.05 to qualify for the semi-final in 14th.

Ellie McCartney continued to impress as she came through the 200m individual medley heat in a time of 2:16.66 to advance to the semi-final. McCartney will head to the blocks twice in quick succession this evening for both the 200m breaststroke final and 200m medley semi-final.

Nathan Wiffen produced a strong performance in the 1500m freestyle heat in 15:10.01, qualifying for Saturday’s final. Wiffen – a twin brother of double world champion Daniel – dominated the heat to secure a place in the final.

In diving, Clare Cryan secured a spot in her second final of the championships. Cryan scored 239.75 to place sixth in the 3m Springboard. Her best dive was in the fourth round with 55.50 points.

Meanwhile, the Irish swimmers competing at the Sette Colli Meet in Rome have to cope with a severe heat warning at the Foro Italico. Nonetheless Daniel Wiffen, Darragh Greene, Max McCusker and Tom Fannon all progressed to finals.

Wiffen was impressive in the 400m freestyle heat, clocking 3:48.42 to advance to the final as the fastest qualifier.

Greene and McCusker, who arrived in Rome on Thursday from Serbia where they were competing at the European Aquatics Championships, are also through to A Finals on the first morning of competition.

Greene touched in 1:00.05 in the 100m breaststroke to progress eighth overall, while McCusker won his 100m butterfly heat in 52.38 and will be the second seed for this evening’s A Final.

Fannon, who achieved the Olympic time in the 50m freestyle at the Irish Open in May, continued his preparation for the event in Paris with a swim of 22.22 to place ninth overall, securing a place in this evening’s B Final.

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