On the third day of competition at the 2011 European Short Course Swimming Championships in Szczecin, Poland, Ireland’s Grainne Murphy has finished 8th in the final of the women’s 400m Freestyle event, finishing in a time of 4:06.05.
Her heat time (4:06.56) had placed her outside the automatic qualification places but the competition rule states that countries are only allowed two swimmers in a final and both Spain and Great Britain had three swimmers inside the top ten. Additionally, Melanie Nocher had qualified for the final, ranked 9th after the heats with a time of 4:06.05, but opted to withdraw to concentrate fully on her main event, the 200m Backstroke. She is ranked 3rd going into tomorrow heat’s.
Murphy was a bronze medallist in the women’ 400 metres freestyle in last year’s European Short Course championships in Eindhoven and was positioned in Lane 9 for the highly competitive final which featured Italian Pellegrini; Danish swimmer Friis; Briton Hanney Miley and the two Spanish favourites Costa Schmid and Belmonte Garcia. It was Belmonte Garcia who triumphed, winning gold in a time of 3:56.39.
Murphy also swam in the 100m Butterfly, finishing in a time of 1:02.30. There were plenty of other good performances by Irish swimmers today. Performance Director Peter Banks commented on the progress of this Irish Squad, “We have had 5 new personal best swims today – Nicholas Quinn and Dan Sweeney in the 50m Breaststroke; Bethany Carson (100m Butterfly), who is swimming fantastically this week, Clare Dawson (400 Freestyle) and Shani Stallard (100m Breaststroke). It is down to the hard work put in by the swimmers in training over the past few months that has paid off this week”.
HPC-NAC swimmer Niamh O’Sullivan saw her first action of the week today, finishing with a time of 4:17.00 in the heats of the 400m Freestyle. O’Sullivan will also swim in the 200m Freestyle tomorrow.
The competition concludes Sunday, with all 10 Irish swimmers taking to the pool. Melanie Nocher hoping to continue her fine form this week into her premier event, the 200m Backstroke, whilst Grainne Murphy will also be hoping to progress in the 400m Individual Medley,