Friday 23 June 2017

Bronze leaves Doyle on crest of a wave

Swimming

Fiona Doyle says she is enjoying one of the best years of her life after taking 100m breaststroke bronze at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea just 24 hours after qualifying for next year’s Olympics in Rio (Sportsfile)
Fiona Doyle says she is enjoying one of the best years of her life after taking 100m breaststroke bronze at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea just 24 hours after qualifying for next year’s Olympics in Rio (Sportsfile)
Fiona Doyle, pictured last year with her gold medal after winning the Women's 50m Breaststroke Final at the 2014 Irish Long Course National Championships (Sportsfile)

Mark O'Driscoll

Fiona Doyle says she is enjoying one of the best years of her life after taking 100m breaststroke bronze at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea just 24 hours after qualifying for next year's Olympics in Rio.

Earlier in the year Doyle was voted the Canadian Universities swimmer of the year and in yesterday's 100m breaststroke final, the University of Calgary student smashed her own Irish record, clocking 1:07.15. Japan's Mina Matsushima claimed the gold medal in 1:06.76 with silver going to USA's Lillia King in 1:06.93.

"It hasn't really hit me yet that I have qualified for the Rio Olympics. Once I have the rest of my races out of the way I'd say it'll hit me that I have done the time," said 23-year-old Limerick woman Doyle.

"Getting the Olympic time in the semi-final was great as it meant I could get it out of my head and concentrate on swimming as fast as I could. I'm happy with the bronze medal. Another colour might have been nicer, but it was over half a second faster than my best time so I'm pleased with that."

Doyle is back in action in the heats of the 200m breaststroke today and she is currently ranked eighth going into the event.

Nicholas Quinn and Sycerika McMahon were in semi-final action for the second time this week. Having clocked a lifetime best in the 100m breaststroke on Sunday, Quinn swam another best in the semi-final of the 200m breast, coming home in 2:13.04 and placing 13th overall.

McMahon was 14th overall in the 200m individual medley semi-final in a time of 2:16.81, bettering her time from the heats where she swam 2:17.59. Shani Stallard also competed in the 200m IM, finishing in a time of 2:22.43, while Dan Sweeney raced the 200m breaststroke in 2.14.78.

Jordan Sloan swam the heats of the 50m backstroke, clocking 26.91 seconds, and will return to the pool today for the 100m freestyle. McMahon is also in action with Gráinne Murphy in the 400m freestyle heats, while Shauna O'Brien competes in the 100m butterfly.

Irish Independent

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