Thursday 19 April 2018

In brief: Cooney sets record but doesn't qualify

AISLING Cooney suffered a bitter-sweet moment at the Irish long course swimming championships last night when despite setting a new national record, she missed out on qualification for the World Championships by 0.06 seconds.

Beijing Olympian Cooney again broke the record she had set on Thursday in the women's 100m backstroke final in the National Aquatic Centre, clocking 1:01.76 ahead of northerner Melanie Nocher, who touched in 1:02.39.

The Dubliner, who had an up-and-down year in 2010, is getting back to the level which took her to the Olympics in 2008, and she will seek to make the World Championships when she competes in the 200m backstroke today.

St Paul's Niall Wynn produced an equally impressive display when he set a new Irish record in the 400m individual medley final, breaking the 10-year-old best of double Olympian Andrew Bree.

PAUL Cutler was unperturbed about opening his defence of the Lytham Trophy with a five-over-par 75.

The Portstewart man was one of 14 players who trailed in 15th place four strokes behind leader and fellow Walker Cup squad member Jack Senior, from nearby Heysham, but that was half the number he had to make up at the same stage last year when he went on to win by three.

Cutler, the first Irish player to claim the title since Martin Sludds in 1982, said: "I'm not unhappy because it was tough when the wind suddenly whipped up and made a mess of my front nine.

"I was three-over par after six holes but came back well by concentrating on keeping the ball low and on the fairways.

"But there were a lot of side winds which made it difficult and although the greens were quite slow, they were responsive."

Andrew Hogan, from Newlands, also had a 75, while Jeffrey Hopkins signed for a 74 on his debut in the season's first major amateur tournament which has attracted a strong international field.

IRELAND'S Julia Moriarty failed to replicate her outstanding second-round form as she crashed out of the ITF Women's Circuit event in Bournemouth yesterday.

Australian-born Moriarty shocked the No 6 seed, Germany's Bianca Koch on Thursday, but her hopes of reaching the semi-finals were shattered when she came up short against Slovakia's Romana Caroline Tabak.

As in the Koch contest, Moriarty, who was appearing in her first quarter-final in a world-ranking event, won only one game in the opening set.

But this time there was no dramatic recovery by the Irish player as 934-ranked Tabak went on to clinch a place in the last four on a 6-1 7-5 scoreline.

Irish Independent

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