The Irish women’s 4x200 metre freestyle relay squad have qualified for the final at the European Swimming Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. 

The squad of Sycerika McMahon, Melanie Nocher, Nuala Murphy and Bethany Carson qualified seventh overall in a modest 8.13.30, almost six seconds outside their own Irish record, but good enough for a place in the top eight. 

Swim Ireland are hoping that the squad can get into the world’s top 16 and so qualify for the London Olympics, but they will have to go substantially quicker in Thursday night's final to do so. 

At present the Irish record stands at 8.07.66 set at the world championships in Shanghai last year and that squad contained Grainne Murphy who is not swimming in Debrecen.

Fiona Doyle scraped into the semi finals of the women’s 200 breaststroke. Her time of 2.32.20 was outside here own Irish record, but good enough for 16th overall by one hundredth of a second.

No such problems for Kilkenny's Shani Stallard who was 13th fastest in 2.31.87 and she too made the top 16

Bethany Carson earlier withdrew from the heats of the women’s 100 metres Butterfly to concentrate fully on swimming the relay..