Nocher hits form in race to reach London

Melanie Nocher, the European Short Course bronze medallist, won the women’s 100 backstroke final in a new personal best time of one minute 1.92 seconds at the Carlton National Swimming Championships and Olympic trials in Dublin yesterday.

Nocher, looking to join Gráinne and Barry Murphy at the London Olympics, tuned up nicely for her main event, the 200 backstroke, the heats of which take place today.

Nocher can be more than pleased with her build-up to the 200 backstroke heats and the 2008 Beijing Olympian will now need to go sub two minutes 10.84 seconds to swim in her second consecutive games.

Also bidding to make the plane to London is 16-year-old Sycerika McMahon from Belfast who missed out in her first attempt at qualifying in her top event, the 100m breaststroke.

McMahon, the double European junior champion, was the fastest qualifier from the morning heats into last night’s semi-finals, but her winning time was over two seconds slower than the required standard of one minute 8.49 seconds needed to better the Olympic A standard for London.

McMahon admitted she eased up in the last few metres of last night’s race but she will have another chance to get to London in her top event in tonight’s final.

“I’m not really too bothered about that swim as I have another chance in the final on Friday,” said McMahon. “In fact if I don’t make it here I can always have a crack at the time in London next week or the European Championships in May as I’m not fully tapered for the Irish Nationals.”

The Belfast teenager won nine national titles last year but said that she was targeting more specific events at present.

“Yeah I’ve cut back purposely as I’m looking for the A time in the 100 breaststroke and they hurt as well, so it was about time I started to target specific events.”

Gráinne Murphy is now off to London to compete in four events, the 200 and 400 individual Medley plus the 400 and 800 freestyle at the British Olympic trials.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up