Four of Ireland's seven-strong swimming team will be in action on day one of the European Swimming Championship at Debrecen in Hungary on Monday knowing it’s their last chance for qualification for the London Olympics.
The cut-off date to dip below the Olympic A standard for London is 31 May and so far Ireland has qualified two swimmers in Grainne and Barry Murphy.
Thus the spotlight fall on the likes of 2008 Olympian Melanie Nocher and 17-year-old Sycerika McMahon, last year’s double European junior gold medallist.
Nocher, the European Short Course bronze medallist over 200m backstroke, competes in the morning’s heats of that event targeting the A standard of 2.10.84.
She has an Irish record of 2.11.71 set at the Irish trials at the NAC in Dublin back in March, but hasn’t really looked like lowering that time at recent meets.
McMahon, however, is improving with every meet and at the recent Tri-Nations at the NAC she was just three tenths of a second shy of making the the 100m breastroke standard of 1.08.49
Other Irish swimmers in action on the opening day are Bethany Carson (50m Fly), Karl Burdis (100m Back), Nuala Murphy (400m IM) and the Irish women’s 4x100m Freestyle relay
US-based Fiona Doyle and Shani Stallard are the other Irish swimmers in Hungary this week.
The Championships run from 21-27 May .
By John Kenny