Ireland’s Melanie Nocher broke her own Irish Senior 200m Backstroke record as she booked a place in Tuesday's final at the European Swimming Championships at Debrecen in Hungary, writes John Kenny.
Nocher’s time of 2:11.68 was good enough to see her through as the 6th fastest qualifier for the final and cut three hundredths of a second off her own Irish best set at the Irish Olympic Trials at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin back in March.
Nocher swam the morning’s heat in a time of 2:13.09, finishing third and qualifying the Ards swimmer eighth fastest into the semi-final.
Although a medal looks beyond the 2008 Irish Olympian, Nocher’s real intention will be to try and hit the Olympic A qualifying standard of 2:10.84 in the final.
Three other Irish swimmers were in action on day one of the week-long meet: Bethany Carson finished 37th in the 50m Butterfly (28.43); Karl Burdis finished 28th overall in the 100m Backcrawl (56.43) and Nuala Murphy was 16th in the 400m Individual Medley.
In Tuesday's heats Fiona Doyle, Sycerika McMahon and Shani Stallard all compete in the 100m Breaststroke.
17-year-old McMahon, a two time European junior champion, was just three tenths of a second shy of the Olympic A time in this event at the recent Celtic Tri Nations in Dublin.
Bethany Carson will swim in the heats of the 100m Freestyle.