Monday 23 October 2017

Heats woe as Murphy misses out on final spot


Mark O'Driscoll

GRAINNE Murphy was left frustrated yesterday after failing to make the final of the 1500m freestyle at the World Championships in Shanghai.

Murphy, who won a silver medal in the event at the European Championships, was hoping to at least make the top eight but finished 10th overall with 16.14.81, just over two seconds away from the final. Last year at the Europeans in Budapest she clocked 16:02.09 to win silver.

"It was difficult for Grainne being in the first of the seeded heats and out on her own. She probably could have gone faster if she was pushed and in a quicker heat," said Swim Ireland performance director Peter Banks.

"Grainne always takes well to a challenge and unfortunately she didn't have that this morning."

Murphy's coach Ronald Claes concurred with Banks, believing she can perform much better in the 800m freestyle later in the week.

"I think she had a great swim, the unfortunate thing was she had to swim all by herself. The girls in the other heats saw Grainne's time and they just raced each other," Claes said.

"Grainne didn't have that race, so that was a big disadvantage for someone like Grainne who likes a race and always goes faster when there's a race."

Murphy, the main Irish hope for success in Shanghai, shrugged off missing out on the final and turned her thoughts to the rest of the week.

"I've got the 800m later on in the week and the 400m individual medley and we have the 4x200m relay. Everyone is really excited about the relay," she said.

Meanwhile, European junior champion Sycerika McMahon set a new Irish junior record in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1:09.91 -- a personal best time by over half a second.

"I did what I wanted to do, I got a PB so I'm really pleased with that. I was trying to go out fast because if I get out fast usually I can maintain it. I think I got out fast enough and tried to keep ahead of the girl next to me," said the 16-year-old , who finished 27th overall.

Olympian Melanie Nocher finished her 100m backstroke heat in 1:03.43, just over a second outside her personal best.

"It's not the time really I wanted, don't really know what happened. I've just got to try and keep focused.

"I felt really good going into that, ideally I would have liked faster," said Nocher.

World Aquatics Championships,

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Irish Independent

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