Ireland’s Grainne Murphy has qualified for tonight’s final of the 400 metres individual medley at the European Swimming Championships in Budapest, writes RTÉ Sport’s John Kenny in Hungary.
Murphy produced a superb swim in the heats, registering a time of 4min 41.8secs and was fifth fastest qualifier in an event that produces a straight final.
Murphy now needs to find another second and a half if she is to compete for a medal, which is possible in such a technical event.
Indeed, were the 17-year-old to cut two seconds off her heat time in the final, it would break Michelle de Bruin’s Irish record set in Atlanta when she won the Olympic gold medal in the same event.
And Olympian Melanie Nocher qualified eighth fastest after the heats of the women's 200 metres backstroke to make it through to the semi-finals.
For Nocher, her time of 2min 3.3secs was over a second outside her own Irish record set two weeks ago and a time close to that would be good enough for a top eight slot, which would give her a place in tomorrow’s final.
Ryan Harrison (400m free), plus Andrew Bree and Barry Murphy (100m breaststroke) failed to emerge from the heats, but their favoured events are later in the week.
However, Bree did show some concern after the race that he wasn't entirely happy with his swim and will have to do a lot better in the 200 metres breaststroke heats on Wednesday.