By John Kenny

Irelands Melanie Nocher is the second fastest qualifier into this afternoon’s final of the womens 200 metres backstroke at the European Short Course swimming championships at Szczecin in Poland.

In winning her heat, Nocher posted a time of 2.05.00, breaking her own Irish record by cutting 0.62 of a second off the time set at last year's championships in Eindhoven.

Nocher, who pulled out of the 400 freestyle final yesterday to concentrate on this event, is the only Irish competitor into the last session of finals which are under way at 4pm Irish time.

Grainne Murphy ,who took a bronze medal in the 400 metres individual medley last year in the Netherlands, missed out on a place in this year's decider.