Conor qualifies for Commonwealth Games

CONOR Leaney has become the first male swimmer from Northern Ireland to qualify for this summer's Commonwealth Games in India.

Thursday, 6th May 2010, 10:52 am

The Larne Swimming Club member, from Ballynure, competed at the weekend in the Irish Long Course National Championships at the Dublin national aquatic centre, where his mark of 1:52:00 in the 200m freestyle was 0.7 seconds inside the qualification time.

Like all swimmers, the 18-year-old has struggled to match previous bests since hi-tech streamline swim suits were banned last July.

His coach, Raymond Skillen, said: "Performance levels for swimmers have dropped around the world as they try to adjust to competition without the suits. It has made qualification all the more difficult because the times were set when the suits were still being used."

Conor was in India two years ago for the Commonwealth Youth Games and last year he competed at the world championships in Rome, where he rated among the world's top 50.