There was further disappointment for Irish swimmers today as semi-final spots were out of reach for Ireland’s final two competitors at this morning’s heats at the London Aquatic Centre.
Barry Murphy, who was first up in the 50m Freestyle, put in a good performance to finish second in his heat in a time of 22.76. Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell was the fastest qualifier in 21.77 and Australia’s Eamon Sullivan was the last qualifier through for this evening’s semi-final in 22.27.
In the 200m Backstroke event Melanie Nocher was way off her best finishing 7th in her heat in a time of 2:16.29. Nocher’s best time of 2:10.74 was her qualification time for the Olympic Games which she swam at the European Swimming Championships in May where she finished 5th overall. Peter Banks, National Performance Director commented “We are obviously disappointed with Melanies swim, she did a 2:10 seven weeks ago and we were hoping that if she did that time here it would carry her through to a semi-final. She has had an upset stomach the last day or so, we are upset for her and the outcome of her race.”
The USA’s Missy Franklin (2:06.54) was the fastest qualifier in the event. Franklin who has already won Gold in the 100m Backstroke is the favourite to do the double in tomorrow night’s final.
It’s been a tough week overall for Irish Swimming as no swimmers progressed past the heats. Swim Ireland’s Banks said “On the whole, we went with four ‘A’ standards and had high expectations for all of these swimmers. It’s been a learning curve for us, we had hoped to turn the ‘A’ times into good performances at the Games but I know we still have a job to do”.
Results Day 6
Barry Murphy 50m Freestyle 22.76 (29th)
Melanie Nocher 200m Backstroke 2:16.29 (34th)