McSharry competes in Olympic final
Sligo’s Mona McSharry made history today, becoming the first Irish swimmer in 25 years to compete in an Olympic final. Ranked 11th entering the heats on Sunday evening, McSharry qualified for the semi-final in 9th, before going one step further to reach the final in 8th place.
A time of 1:06.94 in the final – slightly outside of her semi-final race of 1:06.59 – saw her finish 8th overall.
Speaking afterwards, she said “It’s amazing, thinking about it like that, that there hasn’t been anyone else who has done this in 25 years, I think it puts it into perspective.
“For me, racing in it is just another final – but it really is a lot more than that. It makes me feel so proud that I made it there.
“In the race it was hard to tell, I was really just trying to go for it. It definitely felt like a good race and anything sub 1:07 is a good race in my mind so I’m happy with the race.
“Of course it wasn’t a PB and was the slowest of the three rounds, but I think that comes as well from that there was a sense of relief in making it to the final so I was just excited to go out there and race and see what would happen.
“The worst that could happen was that I come 8th at the Olympics and that’s what happened so that’s not a bad result for my first event.”
There was huge support from home with many setting their alarms to watch live. Including McSharry’s family at home in Grange, Co. Sligo.
“To see all the people who are even staying awake at 3am in the morning to watch me race, it kind of just shows that there is huge support behind me and they really care and that’s amazing, I really do want to say thank you to everyone for that. It really does mean the world.”