1500m Vincent McArdle 18:08.77= BRONZE
50m Freestyle Eoin Nolan 00:24.79 = SILVER
John Kealy 00:24.61 = GOLD
4 x 100m Medley Relay
John Kealy Backstroke 60:09
David Mc Ilroy Breaststroke 69:23
Eoin Nolan Butterfly 60:9
Vincent McArdle Freestyle 56.28 =TEAM GOLD
For the 1500m event, either Sweden and Lithuania were favourite to win first place. No one was worried about Ireland! Well someone should have told them!! When McArdle was introduced to the crowd, the Irish supporters started doing the YMCA dance but adapted it to VMCA! It’s so true when someone says the Irish eyes are always smiling! Looking over to the other countries such as Ukraine and the Russian crowd who looked so intense and worried, whereas the Irish crowd take every opportunity to get them selves noticed! We emit contagious happiness that those around us cannot help but smile! McArdle was the only swimmer smiling in the line up as he cringed at our pathetic attempt at dancing. The mood in the pool hall was very merry! The 1500m consisted of 30 laps which took on average 18 minutes to finish! Turner was confident that McArdle would come away with a medal. However, when McArdle dived in the water his starting pace was worrying, Turner needed him to swim faster but not too fast as he needed to conserve his energy for the end. Sweden was well ahead but Lithuania was at good distance from McArdle. It seemed possible that McArdle could catch up. Unfortuantely, Lithuania speeded off. McArdle was now swimming at an increasing pace, Turner was pleased with him. It was looking promising, McArdle knew what he was doing, he was swimming faster and faster as the last 10 laps were called out. Turner beamed with pride as McArdle completed the last 2 laps skilfully. It was his best performance by 37 seconds. He finished in third place making it his first medal of the E.C! McArdle was exhausted but it did not stop him from congratulating nearly everyone in the pool! Everyone on the supporters bench were extremely pleased, especially the swimmers! There was a new look in his eye as McArdle left the pool, McArdle now knew what he was capable of. The other countries took notice of our new red-hair swimmer and started worrying, and rightly so!
Eoin Nolan and John Kealy swam in lanes beside each other. It has been Eoin’s aim to beat John in this race. Unfortunately for Eoin, the King prevailed! Turner said “ What a race! The king is still alive, but the pauper is coming up! Both of them are two different swimmers! Kealy is a power swimmer whereas Nolan is a build up swimmer.” In the last 25m, Nolan was only half a body length behind! Kealy held on to win while Nolan burst through the field. “Another meter, it would have been a different story!” says Turner This is Kealy’s fifth gold and Nolan’s 1st Silver so far!
4 x 100m Medley Relay is the race where each swimmer swims one of the four different strokes, Kealy swam the backstroke, McIlroy swam the Breaststroke, Nolan swam the butterfly and McArdle swam the freestyle. Relays are the most exciting race in the E.C. This relay was different for Ireland. For the first time ever, McArdle joined the relay team! With his success in the 1500m, he was now a changed swimmer, he beamed with confidence and hunger for more medals! The other three experienced swimmers aimed to give Ireland the lead so that there was less pressure on McArdle in the final stroke. Ukraine was also a favourite to win the gold, fortunately for Ireland, they were swimming in the lane next to them. This meant that the team could keep an eye on their pace. Kealy went in first to swim in his favourite stroke, backstroke. We hoped that he would not have a bad start like the last time. Thankfully, Kealy flew in the air at a powerful speed, it was visible that every muscle in his body was working! Kealy was chased by Ukraine all the way through, McIlroy attempted to brush off Ukraine but could not do so! It was all down to the Nolan Pace to get away from Ukraine so that McArdle was not intimidated by his visible presence. Nolan swam faster than ever, living up to the famous “Nolan Pace.” Now Ukraine was slightly behind us, McArdle flew in like a dolphin and swam with sheer determination. It was an emotional race for the Irish supporters, we beamed with pride as McArdle swam incredibly! The Irish supporters were screaming so loudly, no one could contain their excitement as we saw McArdle in the last 25m with Ukraine at a comfortable distance! McArdle’s time of 0:56.28 was faster than Turners! Turner grabbed anyone who was not celebrating and jumping around “ See, I knew that boy could do it! He’s an extremely talented swimmer!! I’m so proud of him!” Those words sums up McArdle! It was a memorable day for McArdle, this was the start to many many medals!!They also broke the European record!!!
Comment for the day
Mrs Eileen Nolan
Supporter (and Eoin Nolan’s mother!)
Brilliant results! The boys have done Ireland proud. My first memory of Eoin winning medals was when he was six years old in his school gala at St Joseph’s. I did not think then that he would go on to achieve what he has done. I am so proud of him!