Friday 19 January 2018

Doyle Barcelona bound after double success

Mark O'Driscoll

FIONA Doyle finished off her campaign at the Irish long-course championships in style when comfortably winning the 200m breaststroke title – 24 hours on from qualifying for the World championships in Barcelona this summer.

Canada-based Portmarnock woman Doyle blasted to qualification in the 100m breaststroke at the National Aquatic Centre, taking gold in 1:08.23, ahead of Aberdeen's Emily Jones (1:12.45).

Doyle, who also won the 200m breast in 2:31.34, said: "It was great to do the time in Ireland and to have the support of everyone around me and now I'm really looking forward to the World Championships in Barcelona.

"Since I've come back from Canada, where I just missed the time at the Canadian trials, everyone around me has been very supportive. Lars Humer, the new high-performance guy in Limerick, and Peter O'Brien from Portmarnock have been great. They showed real belief in me."

Dubliner Barry Murphy missed out on qualification for Barcelona, despite winning the men's 100m breaststroke in 1:01.35, ahead of Castlebar's Nicholas Quinn (1:02.88) and will now turn his attentions to the Tri-Nations in his bid to clock the FINA 'A' time.

Brendan Hyland was one of the outstanding Irish performers over the four days of the championships and he ended as he began with record-breaking performances.

Hyland was second to Sean Leahy (2:05.14) in the 200m individual medley final, but clocked a new Irish junior record of 2:05.77 and then went even better in the 100m butterfly final when setting a new Irish senior record.

Tallaght teenager Hyland clocked a new national best of 54.50, shaving 0.17 off Steven McQuillan's 2009 record when he took silver behind Egypt's Marwan Adel (54.39).

World Cup winner Katinka Hosszu of Hungary landed two more gold medals yesterday, winning the women's 200m individual medley in 2:11.84, ahead of Ireland's London Olympian Sycerika McMahon (2:15.60), before going on to win the 100m butterfly in 59.19. The first Irish woman home was third-placed Shauna O'Brien in 1:01.66.

Curtis Coulter, winner of the 100m freestyle on Saturday night, rounded off the championships with a new Irish junior record to win the 50m freestyle in 23.26, one hundredth of a second ahead of Egypt's Younies Shehab.

The Ards swimmer knocked 0.32 off the previous record held by Conor Leaney.

Bangor's Jordan Sloan also won an exciting race, taking 50m backstroke gold in 27.47, just in front of Kilkenny's David Prendergast (27.48), while Jane Roberts won the women's 50m backstroke.

Irish Independent

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