Cork Swimming: Record breaking displays at Sunday’s

Popular event as held at Gus Healy Pool in Douglas
Cork Swimming: Record breaking displays at Sunday’s

Colman Shanley, Zak Kanoute, Anne Marie Noland and Richard Walsh at the SWSC Masters Gala. Photo: Anne Marie Nolan No Repo Fee

ANOTHER gala to make a welcome return, following the pandemic, was the Sundays Well Masters Gala, held at the Gus Healy Pool, Douglas recently. 

The gala was very well supported by all clubs within the City and County, but also welcomed teams from Limerick, Tralee, Dungarvan, Waterford, Nenagh, Portlaoise, Kilkenny and three teams from Dublin clubs.

The afternoon began with the best possible result as the Cork Masters team set a new Irish 160-240 Masters Record in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay. Two members of the team had also been in record breaking form in August last. 

On that occasion, Christopher Kelleher and Robert Cussen were part of the 4x50m Freestyle relay to set a new Irish Masters Record in the 120-159 at the European Masters Championships, in Rome. 

In Douglas the two were joined by Jerry O’Riordan and Brian Ronan and the quarter combined to swim five seconds faster than the previous record to set the new standard at 3:59.31.

New Irish Masters Records were a feature of the afternoon, with Sharon Semchiy and Rob Lamb of the host club among those to register new standards. Semchiy, was the current record holder, (19-24), at 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly. 

She posted 27.33 at 50m freestyle and 29.60 at 50m butterfly to reset the records. In addition, she posted 1:07.04 to reset a 13 year old record at 100m IM. The previous record was held be Claire O’Connell of Kingdom Masters.

Lamb reset a long standing 200m breaststroke record, (50-54), when he touched on 2:53.98. The previous record was set in November 2008 by Tony Morris of Aer Lingus Masters.

Kieran Kelleher of Sandycove Island Masters was in excellent form and reset four Irish Masters Records, (75-79). They came at 50m breaststroke 46.10, 50m butterfly 29.15 and 100m IM 1:31.15. 

The three previous records were all held by Cyril Hardy, Eastern Bay, Clontarf, Dublin and dated back to 2012, Kelleher’s 4th record came at 50m backstroke 41.49. It was a more recent record, held by Jeff Philips, Aer Lingus Masters from 2020.


Aoife Sexton, Mallow Masters set two new Munster Records at 50m and 200m breaststroke. 

She posted 39.30 at 50m and 3:11.76 at 200m. Her 200m time was six seconds faster than the previous record, which was held by Carol Cashell, Sandycove Island, since 2012.

Thomas Quinn, Cork Masters held off a chasing Martin Ferland, Limerick to clinch the 50m freestyle final 30.70 with Ferland on 30.87. 

Quinn was the comfortable victor over 200m, posting 2:34.62, but had to settle for bronze over 100m 1:10.25. Rob Lamb was the comfortable winner at 100m 1:02.48 with Ferland again in 2nd place 1:09.17.

The Cork Masters duo, Chris Kelleher and Owen Cummins battled out for the top spot at 50m butterfly, with Kelleher edging ahead on 29.15, Cummins on 30.15 and Danny Finn, Crosshaven Tri Club completing the podium 34.35.

The host club, Cork Masters and Blackrock Masters all train at Douglas pool. The ladies 50m freestyle (45-49) saw the three clubs placed in the top four. 

Judith Barrett, Cork Masters was the victor with 32.69. She was followed by Sarah Hyde, SWSC on 34.26 and the Blackrock duo, Sorcha Ní Longphuirt and Rosie Hogan in 3rd and 4th. 

Another interesting battle took place in the men’s (60-64) 50m freestyle. Michael McKeon, Sandycove Island topped the podium 33.78, followed closely by Tommy Lee, SWSC on 34.47 with Blackrock’s Vaughan Ryan completing the podium. Lee topped the 100m IM podium 1:31.18 ahead of clubmate Barry Elwood 1:33.07.

The men’s (55-59) 50m breaststroke produced a very exciting final. Little separated the top three, but it was Nick Mulcahy, Cork Masters who clinched the victory 44.85 followed closely by the Well duo, Arjan Toebes 44.95 and Zakariaho Kanoute 45.95.

Three Cork ladies battled it out for the podium position in the 200m freestyle (30-34). Sinead Glynn, Cork Masters 2:38.46 edged ahead of Sinead Barnett, Cork Tri Club, 2:39.06. Katie Hayes, now swimming with NAC Masters completed the podium.

Emma Hobbs, SWSC, battled bravely in the 100m freestyle (25.29) only to be pipped on the line by Róisín Harbison, Limerick 1:12.08, with Hobbs on 1:12.44. Her clubmate, Amy McGuinness completed the podium 1:17.35.

The gala closed out with the 4x50m freestyle relays. In the men’s relays there were victories for the teams from Cork Masters, Cork Tri Club and SWSC Masters. 

In the Ladies relays, the victories went to Cork Masters and to two of the SWSC ladies teams.

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