Irish swimmers will take to the pool this weekend (Friday to Sunday) for the first National Competition of 2014. The Dave McCullagh Memorial Meet, which will incorporate the Ulster International Meet and Junior Celtic Duel Meet, will be the first national swimming competition to take place at the new Bangor Aurora Leisure Centre. Over 350 swimmers from 58 clubs including 10 foreign clubs will compete in 32 individual and 6 team events across three days of competition.
Big names in action this weekend will include Olympian and European Bronze medallist Barry Murphy, whilst Irish Record holders Andrew Meegan, Shauna O’Brien and Brendan Hyland will also be competing. British Olympian and GB record holder Hannah Miley will bring tough competition for Irish female swimmers as she travels to Ireland to race in 11 individual events over the three days.
Ireland’s senior swimmers will be seeking qualification for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July and LEN European Swimming Championships which take place in Berlin in August 2014. Paralympic athletes, including 2013 World Championship medallists Darragh McDonald, Ellen Keane, James Scully and Laurence McGivern will also be in action at the Dave McCullagh Meet as they look to meet the qualification times for the IPC European Swimming Championships in Eindhoven in August.
For Ireland’s Junior and Youth Squad, competition will come in the form of a strong Scottish team as they face off in the Junior Celtic Duel Meet. Ireland’s Antoinette Neamt, who set an Irish senior record in the 1,500m Freestyle at Irish Short Course Nationals in December is part of a 31 strong Irish team which also includes Irish Junior Record holder Laoise Fleming.
Junior swimmers will be hoping to book places on the squads travelling to the European Junior Swimming Championships in Dordrecht and the Canadian Age Group Championships both in July.