By John Kenny
Melanie Nocher has won a bronze medal at the European Short Course swimming championships at Szczecin in Poland.
Nocher’s time of 2min 4.29secs set the second Irish record of the day by 0.71secs to give the Loughborough-based swimmer her first international medal.
The 23-year-old justified her decision to pull out of Saturday’s 400m freestyle final to concentrate on her main event, and she posted her early intention by winning her morning heat in an Irish record time of 2:05.00.
After a slow start, Nocher found herself in sixth place at the 50-metre mark before moving into third place behind fastest qualifier Daryna Zevina of Ukraine and Spain’s Duane Da Rocha Marce.
Zevina pulled away over the second half of the race to claim the gold medal in a new championship record time of 2:2.24 with Da Rocha Marce holding off a fast finishing Nocher to take silver.
Grainne Murphy, who took a bronze in the 400 metres individual medley last year in the Netherlands, missed out on a place in the final after finishing one second outside the qualifying time.