Conor Ferguson through to European backstroke final

Conor Ferguson was fastest in the 100m backstroke heats and second quickest in the semi-final
Conor Ferguson was fastest in the 100m backstroke heats and second quickest in the semi-final

Larne teenager Conor Ferguson has cruised into Thursday's 100m backstroke final at the European Junior Swimming Championships in Hungary.

He was the second fastest qualifier into the final (16:30 BST) having won his semi-final in 54.47 seconds.

Sligo's Mona McSharry won bronze in the 50m breaststroke on Wednesday.

The 15-year-old, who swims with the Marlins club in Donegal, joins Olympians Grainne Murphy and Sycerika McMahon as a European Junior medallist.

McSharry progressed from the morning heats as the fastest qualifier in a best time of 32 seconds.

She moved to second after the afternoon semi-final in 32.12 and a blistering 31.98 saw her third and on the podium in the final behind Slovenian duo Tina Celik (31.85) and Tara Vovk (31.93).

"It's amazing, I'm really happy," she said.

"I had a hectic morning, so to be able to swim two pb's [personal bests] in the heats was great, that gave me confidence going into the semi-final and final."

Ferguson, 16, will be hoping for a podium finish after narrowly missing out on making the Irish team for the Olympic Games in Rio.

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