Euro bronze boost for Nocher

FIONNUALA BRITTON wasn’t the only Irish sportswoman standing on a podium yesterday.

Within hours of Britton striking gold in the European Cross Country Championships in Slovenia, Belfast swimmer Melanie Nocher took bronze in the 200m backstroke final at the European Short Course Championships in Poland.

Nocher set her second Irish record of the day, recording 2:04.29 in the Szczecin pool, having clocked 2:05.00 in the heats. It is a massive boost for the 23-year-old who competed in the Beijing Olympics and has yet to secure qualification for the London Games.

The Loughborough-based swimmer started slowly before producing a stunning finish to come homebehind Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina (2:02.25) and Spain’s Duane Da Rocha Marce (2:03.32).

Grainne Murphy, a bronze medallist in the 400 metres individual medley last year, missed out on a place in the final after finishing one second outside the qualifying time.

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