/ Swimming

Sycerika McMahon and Melanie Nocher reach London 2012

Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2012 20:49 | Comments

Sycerika McMahon shows her surprise and delight after realising she had achieved Olympic standard in the 100 breaststroke.
Sycerika McMahon shows her surprise and delight after realising she had achieved Olympic standard in the 100 breaststroke.

Irish swimming is celebrating on the double as both Sycerika McMahon and Melanie Nocher became the third and fourth Irish swimmers to qualify for the London Olympic Games, writes John Kenny.

McMahon also qualified for the final of the Women’s 100 breaststroke at the European Swimming championships at Debrecen in Hungary.

McMahon, the former junior European double gold medallist, broke her own Irish record in the morning heats in a time of 1:08.37, which was .12 of a second inside the Olympic 'A' qualifying standard.

In the second semi-final McMahon finished second and amazingly registered the same time of 1.08.37 to qualify fifth for Wednesday’s decider.

Nocher meanwhile finished fifth in the final of the Women’s 200 backstroke, but more importantly for the 23-year-old was that her time of 2.10.75 seconds was .09 of a second inside the 'A' qualifying standard as well as a new Irish record.

It will be Nocher’s second consecutive Olympics having also competed at the Beijing Games in 2008.

Speaking to Sport At 7, Nocher spoke about her relief after qualifying and revealed the pressure she felt under to do so.

"It’s been a hard year for me, I just kind of knuckled down and said to myself; 'This is your last chance, you may as well go out with a bang if you’re going to do it’. Thankfully it paid off," she told Sport At 7.

"There's been a lot of pressure. I don’t think it’s intentional pressure, people just want you to do it (qualify) and they want you to do it for you.

"I want to make Ireland proud and it’s such a tiny team. I sometimes wrongly take the pressure on myself. I just want really to deliver and there's a lot of people that really want it for me," Nocher added.

McMahon and Nocher now join Grainne and Barry Murphy who have already dipped under the Olympic qualifying time for their respective events.

Limerick’s Canadian based swimmer Fiona Doyle was fifth in her semi-final of the Women’s 100 breaststroke and was placed 12th overall in 1.09.68.

The finals on day two of the meet are off at 4.30pm Irish time.

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