Irish swimmers impressed on the second day of competition at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, with Mona McSharry and Conor Ferguson comfortably progressing from their heats to this afternoon’s semi-finals.

McSharry, already qualified for Paris, was second in her 100m Breaststroke heat in 1:06.49. The 23-year-old, who was fifth at the 2023 edition of the World Championships, cruised through the heats and ranks third overall for the semi-final.

The Sligo native, who holds the Irish Record at 1:05.55, spoke after this morning’s race ‘I’m happy, February is a weird time to be getting up and doing a world champs swim and I think it’s exciting to try and progress through the rounds and be as good as I can at this time of the year and then just build on that for the Summer. It was a good swim this morning, well-paced, just try and shave a little bit off each 50m and see what we can do.’

The 100m Breaststroke Semi-Final takes place today at 4.28pm (IRL).

Conor Ferguson dipped under the fifty-four second mark for the first time in his career with a personal best swim of 53.95 in the 100m Backstroke heats. Ferguson’s previous best had sat at 54.01. The 24-year-old was second in the first of the seeded heats and progresses eleventh overall.

This evening, Ferguson will be aiming for the Olympic Qualification Time in the event of 53.74, he said ‘It’s a step in the right direction and I know I’ve more to give, the first one’s always a bit nerve wrecking but it’s good to get that out of the way, it’s a good confidence builder. Historically looking, my afternoon swims are always better than the morning. It was a good swim this morning, but I just have to forget about it and focus on tonight now.’

The 100m Backstroke Semi-Final takes place today at 4.17pm (IRL).

Also, in action this morning, Maria Godden swam her first individual event, the 100m Backstroke, touching in 1:01.99, for twentieth overall. Godden returns to the pool on Wednesday for the 50m Backstroke, with her main event, the 200m Backstroke, to come on Friday.

Daily reports will issue from Doha.

Results Day 2

Women 100m Backstroke                            Maria Godden                   1:01.99 (20th)

Men 100m Backstroke                                 Conor Ferguson                53.95 (11th)

Women 100m Breaststroke                         Mona McSharry                1:06.49 (3rd)


Schedule – Day 2 Finals

Men 100m Backstroke   Semi-Final           Conor Ferguson                4.17pm (IRL)

Women 100m Breaststroke Semi-Final     Mona McSharry                4.28pm (IRL)