The Irish women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team set a new Irish senior record at the World Swimming Championships in Shanghai.
The team performing in a relay squad for the first time consisted of rising star Sycerika McMahon, Melanie Nocher, Clare Dawson and Grainne Murphy, shaved almost two seconds off the previous record as they came home in a time of 8:07.66.
Swimming in heat two of three heats, alongside the No 2 seeded Chinese team Ireland finished sixteenth place overall out of seventeen teams.
Melanie Nocher, who swam the second leg on the relay said: “Everybody gave it their all so we can definitely take a positive away from it – a new Irish senior record.
“We don’t get to swim relays very often – these guys that are doing these races, they’re practicing take-overs every couple of months with each other, so for us it’s hard.
“We’re just getting used to swimming together and I think for that it was a good swim and you can only take positives away from it.”
The top twelve finishing nations from these Championships have automatically been given a relay spot for the 2012 Olympics next year.
Four additional teams will be selected by FINA (the world governing body for swimming) in the coming year, on the basis of the fastest times achieved before 1 June 2012, putting the Irish squad still in the running for a relay place at the London Games.
Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director Peter Banks said: “We were a little bit disappointed; we thought we might be a little bit faster this morning, we were trying to go for 12th place – 8:02 gets an automatic place to the Olympics next year. We were 8:07 so we were about five seconds outside where we needed to be.”
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