Athlone athlete crowned national aquabike champion

Athlone's Olivia McCartin emerged as the 2021 aquabike women's national champion after a wonderful performance at the Lough Cutra Triathlon Festival last Sunday.

McCartin’s 1500-metre swim was 1 minute, 23 seconds quicker than that of second placed athlete Celine McPhilips, and this proved decisive in the Athlone woman's ultimate success.

Olivia's swim split of 28.21 made the difference in an otherwise tight battle with McPhilips, amid the scenic backdrop of Lough Cutra Castle in Co. Galway.

A member of Athlone Triathlon Club, where she is also a coach, Olivia crossed the line in 1 hour, 41 minutes, 56 seconds - with McPhilips finishing up 1min, 29 seconds later to claim silver.

The two women were only five seconds apart in T1 and a mere two seconds apart over the 40km bike route, so the gap didn’t move much once the pair were on dry land.

Bronze went to Deborah Carr in 1.52.09, two minutes clear of a pack of closely bunched competitors that made up the top seven in the women’s field.

Athlone Triathlon Club has congratulated Olivia on her "incredible performance" over the Olympic distance race which earned her first place on the podium and the title of national aquabike champion for 2021.

The club praised Olivia's "superb time" in the swim, as well as her "swift transition and expertly executed performance on the 40km bike route".

Paying tribute to Olivia, the club described her as "an outstanding athlete, a fierce competitor, a passionate, inspiring and dedicated coach and the most modest and humble member of our club".

Meanwhile, the men's race at the Lough Cutra festival was won by Ross Hamilton, who recorded the quickest swim and bike splits in the field. He finished up with 1hour, 25mins, 41seconds on the clock to claim the national title.

Second place went to Ruaidhrí Geraghty from Galway TC. Killian Nolan finished in the bronze medal position a little over two minutes back – he was out of the water ahead of both Hamilton and Geraghty before slipping back a little through T1 and on the bike.