By John Kenny
Melanie Nocher's attempts to qualify for her second successive Olympics Games fell short on day three of the Carlton National Swimming Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin.
Nocher comfortably won the final of the 200 metres backstroke, but her winning time of two minutes 11.81 seconds was a second shy of the A standard required.
It had looked promising for the 23-year-old after the morning’s heats as she broke her own Irish record in a time of 2:11.71, three hundredths of a second inside her previous Irish best.
In the final, she was on the time required at the 100m mark, but couldn’t bring it back in the second leg of the race and was actually slower than her heat time in the final.
“It’s pretty hard to do it on your own,” Nocher admitted.
“It’s not an excuse or anything but I couldn’t bring it home over the last 100 and it really hurt.”
Nocher still has until the 31 May to make the time and now heads to London this weekend for the British trials at the London Olympic venue.
Her final opportunity will come at the European Championships in Hungary.
Sycerika McMahon was also outside the Olympic A qualifying time with her victory in the 100m breaststroke in 1.09.42.
The 16-year-old, who also won the 400m freestyle title, will join Nocher in London this weekend.