Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre welcomes LEN European U23 Swimming Championships
Today, the LEN European U23 Swimming Championships commences at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre, for what promises to be three incredible days of competition featuring around 400 of the best emerging talents from 42 nations battling it out for 37 gold medals across three days of competition, including Irish Olympians Daniel Wiffen and Ellen Walshe to have a significant impact on young swimmers throughout Ireland.
Sport Ireland Campus aims to host international events every year to highlight the fantastic facilities on Campus around the world, and to showcase the strength of Irish sport on the international stage. Aside from this fantastic event, the Sport Ireland Campus is also hosting European Hockey and World Cup Cyclocross events this year, which will bring more and more new visitors and community involvement to the Campus.
The last time Swim Ireland hosted a European competition was the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships in 2003, the same year the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre opened. Many of the swimmers on the Irish team were not even born on that occasion when Sydney 2000 and Beijing 2008 Olympian Andrew Bree won a silver medal in the 200m Breaststroke. Bree will indeed be in attendance this weekend, in the role of poolside commentator.
Heading up Team Ireland this weekend will be recent Paris 2024 qualifiers Daniel Wiffen, Mona McSharry, and Ellen Walshe. Wiffen and McSharry were both World Championships finalists just two weeks ago, with Wiffen setting a new European Record in the 800m Freestyle. All three will compete in their signature events across the three days of competition.
The team also includes World Championships teamers, 200m Freestyle Irish Record holder Victoria Catterson and 16-year-old John Shortt, who recently set a new Irish standard in the 200m Backstroke.
The opening day of racing will see thirteen individual swims from Irish swimmers including McSharry (50m Breaststroke), Walshe (100m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley) and Wiffen (1500m Freestyle) as well as Shortt in the 200m Backstroke and Catterson in the 200m Freestyle. Jack Cassin and Evan Bailey will compete in the 100m Butterfly; Maria Godden swims the 50m Backstroke and Eoin Corby and Liam O’Connor the 50m Breaststroke.
Grace Hodgins competes in the 800m Freestyle, while an Ireland team are entered in the Mixed 400m Medley Relay.
Speaking ahead of the event Swim Ireland National Performance Director Jon Rudd said ‘”The Irish team have assembled in Dublin and are keen and excited to perform in front of a home crowd. With five athletes returning from a highly successful World Championships to join this team, there is a blend of experience and exciting potential within our ranks and when you look at the pre-meet rankings, you’d really hope that Irish athletes can wow friends, family, and the swimming community over the three days of racing at the NAC. It’s been 20 years since we last had international swimming of this calibre in Ireland – and so I’d urge supporters to scoop up those last few available tickets and lend us your voices this weekend!”
“It’s amazing to have a big swimming competition in Ireland,” Wiffen told LEN ahead of the event.
“Hopefully it’s going to inspire a new generation and hopefully I’ll swim fast, get on the podium and definitely inspire some distance swimmers!”
Walshe added; “Hopefully it will motivate some of those coming to watch to take it up and follow what we’re doing, so having them in the crowd will be amazing.”
Aside from Wiffen, Walshe and fellow World short course medallist Mona McSharry, other leading names lining up for Dublin 2023 include new World silver medallist Krzysztof Chmieleski (Poland), reigning European champion Isabelle Gose (Germany), World junior record holder Peter Mitsin (Bulgaria) and double European junior gold medallist Leah Schlosshan (Great Britain).
In addition to a host of European junior medallists from this year’s event in Belgrade, athletes from the United States, South Africa and Zimbabwe will also join the line-up.
The USA’s team features several NCAA champions and 2021 World short course bronze medallist Isabelle Stadden; while South African duo Pietre Coetze and Matt Sates will also be major draws for fans attending the event.
Wiffen concluded; “For Ireland, we have some young guys who are really looking forward to this and I hopefully they embrace it because it’s for many of them the first time to swim in their own back garden in a major competition so it’ll be very.”
For start-lists and results throughout Dublin 2023 bookmark the following link: