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Ireland fall short despite relay record

THE Irish squad at the World Championships in Shanghai were given a morale boost yesterday when the women's freestyle relay team set a national record in the 4x200m freestyle.

The team of Grainne Murphy, Sycerika McMahon, Melanie Nocher and Clare Dawson finished 16th overall with a time of 8:07.66, nearly two seconds faster than the previous national record that was set four years ago.

"We were a little disappointed. We were trying to go for 12th place -- 8.02 gets an automatic place to the Olympics next year, so we were about five seconds outside where we needed to be," said Peter Banks, Swim Ireland's national performance director.

Meanwhile, Ryan Lochte broke his own world record to beat legend Michael Phelps for the gold medal in the 200m individual medley in 1:54.00.

The result was even more significant as it was the first world record to be set since the controversial high-tech body suits were banned at the start of 2010.

Elsewhere, Brian O'Sullivan (Dundalk Grammar) took a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle in 23.66 at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey.

Irish Independent