Nocher and McMahon vie to join London party

Melanie Nocher and Sycericka McMahon will be amongst those bidding for Olympic qualification at the National Swimming Championships which begin today at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.

The pair aim to secure their spots at the London Games alongside Barry and Gráinne Murphy, who secured qualification last year.

However, organisers confirmed that Barry Murphy will not be in action in his native city this week. The Dubliner is remaining with his University Swimming Club in Michigan as it was feared that travelling would aggravate asthma problems. Meanwhile, Gráinne Murphy will compete only in the 200m freestyle before heading to the British trials, which will be running a full Olympic programme at the London 2012 venue.

She said: “If I decided to swim in both that would have meant swimming non stop for 12 days or so and that wasn’t on. Everything now is in preparation for the Olympics. The British trials give me the full Olympic programme and it gives me the chance to compete against some of those I will face in July. It will be good to be able to experience the pool, see what it is like over there and enjoy it. London will also give me the chance to see how training has been going. It will give me more experience and I will get a good feel for the venue”.

Murphy will then head to Denmark to train with Lotte Friis, the swimmer who beat her to the gold medal in the 1500m freestyle at the European championships, and will also compete in the Danish national championships.

Action begins in Dublin today at 9.30am with the first of the finals off the blocks at 5.30pm.

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