Thursday 14 December 2017

Swimming: Delighted McMahon sets sights on 2013 Euro medal

Ireland's Sycerika McMahon, from Portaferry, Co. Down, makes her way out for the Final of the Women's 100m Breaststroke. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland's Sycerika McMahon, from Portaferry, Co. Down, makes her way out for the Final of the Women's 100m Breaststroke. Photo: Sportsfile

Mark O'Driscoll

SYCERIKA McMahon has her sights on a medal at the next European Championships after finishing fifth in yesterday's 100m breaststroke final in Hungary.

The European junior champion, who qualified for London 2012 on Tuesday, has immediately taken her form into the senior ranks, and yesterday's time of 1:08.72 was less than a second away from the bronze medal position.

Gold went to Germany's Sarah Poewe in 1:07.33.

"I'm really pleased with my performance in the final," said McMahon. "Of course I wanted to go faster, but I'm taking the positives from it and I'm very excited when I think about competing at next year's championships when I'm a year older.

"Just to be competing on this stage against the best swimmers in Europe is a big honour.

"Qualifying for London is just unbelievable and I'm very happy with how the championships are going for me and the team."

Dubliner Karl Burdis will also leave these championships with his confidence lifted as he finished a highly promising 13th overall in the 50m backstroke.

Having qualified for the semi-finals in 15th place with 25.87, Burdis, who swims with the NAC High Performance Centre and Portmarnock SC, then clocked 25.78 in the evening session.

After her Olympic qualifying performance in the 200m backstroke, Melanie Nocher returned to the pool in the 100m and finished 22nd overall in 1:03.42, outside her personal best.

Today the Irish women will look to post a time that puts them in with a chance of qualifying the 4x200m freestyle relay team for the Olympics.

The women's team of McMahon, Nocher, Nuala Murphy and Bethany Carson will need to post a time which will rank them inside the world's top 16.

The Ukranian team are currently ranked 16th with a time of 8:06.42 -- the Irish record is 8:07.66, set at the 2011 World Championships.

Also in action are Fiona Doyle and Shani Stallard in the 200m breaststroke, while Irish record holder Carson will compete in the 100m butterfly.

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