Sunday 21 January 2018

McMahon picks up second gold at Euro Juniors


Mark O'Driscoll

SYCERIKA McMAHON claimed her second gold for Ireland at the European Junior Championships yesterday when she led from start to finish to win the 400m freestyle.

McMahon made it two golds in two days in Belgrade with a breathtaking display, coming home to take first place in 4:13.85, ahead of Rachael Williamson of Great Britain in 4:14.49 and Johanna Friedrich of Germany.

Her winning time broke her own Irish junior record.

The 16-year-old is now aiming to follow in the footsteps of Grainne Murphy by winning a third gold medal at the championships today in the 200m freestyle, in which she is ranked first. She also goes in the 100m butterfly.

Her success is a great achievement for her Leander club coach Bobby Madine, whose daughter Marion was one of the top Irish swimmers in the early 1990s.

"Sycerika gets what she deserves because she always comes to training and gives 100pc and she has been blessed with a lot of natural talent," said Madine.

"She is a joy to coach and she has that something special about her; she only thinks about winning when she goes to the blocks and it does not matter who she is up against."

Philip Duffy (St Paul's) and Nicholas Quinn (Castlebar) both competed in the heats of the 200m individual medley, finishing in 2:11.89 and 2:13.57 respectively.

Neither progressed to the semi-finals.

Luke Campbell also missed out in the 100m freestyle, clocking 52.17, while Conor Turner of Aer Lingus finished in 16:05.78 in the 1,500m freestyle.

Like McMahon, Jane Roberts (Kilkenny SC) will swim in two finals today -- the 200m freestyle and the 50m backstroke -- while Quinn, Peter Clarke (Limerick SC) and Dan Sweeney (Sunday's Well) will go in the 50m breaststroke heats.

Meanwhile, the Irish senior swimming squad will depart for Malaysia tomorrow for a 10-day training camp ahead of the FINA World Swimming Championships, which take place in Shanghai from July 16-31.

details in factfile

Irish Independent

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