Day three of the Irish Long Course Swimming Championships (doubling up as the Olympic Trials) saw some excellent times recorded at the N.A.C by both Sycerika McMahon and Melanie Nocher and though they may be disappointed not to have made the Olympic qualifying time this week there are still other opportunities to make London 2012 in the weeks ahead.
Both are expected to take part in the British Gas Swimming Championships which commence today in London’s Aquatics Centre (where the Olympic events will take place) and will continue throughout next week. Gráinne Murphy takes part in several events there too. The Ballinaboola swimmer is competing in four events : the 200m and 400m Individual Medley and the 400m and 800m Freestyle.
She won the 200m Freestyle at the NAC, on the opening day, the only event she took part in during the Irish championships. She said then : ” Everything now is in preparation for the Olympics .If I decided to swim in both that would have meant swimming nonstop for 12 days”.
The quality of the opposition in London may well spur Nocher and McMahon , and indeed Murphy,on towards achieving their ambitions as not only are all of the top British swimmers taking part but also some 250 swimmers (many of them World or European Champions), from other overseas countries. In all some 850 competitors including 151 disabled athletes are competing in London. (There will be 950 at the Olympics).
At the NAC last night Melanie Nocher and Sycerika McMahon were both outside the FINA ‘A’ time in the 200m backstroke and 100m breaststroke respectively.
The Loughborough University based Nocher in fact broke her own Irish record in the heats with a time of 2:11.71, but in the finals won in a slower 2:11.81, well outside the qualifying time of 2:10.84. The tougher competition in London could well be enough to help her ‘make the grade’.
Sycerika McMahon, a great future prospect, took the Gold medal in 1:09.42 in the 100m breast, though her time too was well outside the required 1:08.49.
Another Gold for McMahon last night when the 16 years old won the women’s 400m freestyle in 4:19.92, with Nuala Murphy trailing behind in 4:21.16.
Karl Burdis took the men’s 50m backstroke to add to his previous 100m title, this time in in 25.78, while Kilkenny’s relay team broke the Irish record for the Women’s 4x100m medley relay, in 4:24.91, while Galway took the men’s event, coming home in 3:59.04.
SportsNewsIreland wishes every success to these and other Irish swimmers in the weeks ahead and
you can follow their progress in the British championships here on SportsNewsIreland.