Wednesday 24 January 2018

Swimming: Silver 'an amazing feeling' for Doyle

Mark O'Driscoll

Fiona Doyle admitted she had no idea at the end of the 100m breaststroke final at the World University Games in Kazan that she had bagged a silver medal.

Doyle became the first Irish female swimmer to win a medal at these games when she stormed to a new national record of 1:07.66, smashing her previous best of 1:08.23 and finishing second behind Yuliya Efimova of Russia (1:08.23).

Doyle, who is based in Canada, commented: "When I hit the wall at the end I thought I had lost out on a medal and then I looked up and thought 'oh I've got a bronze' and then I thought 'oh my God I've won silver'.

"It's just an amazing feeling, I was very emotional when I was getting out of the pool.

"This medal is for everyone who has helped me, for all the Irish team here who have been so supportive and for my coaches back in Canada – and for Peter Banks of Swim Ireland, who has been a great support.

"When I got onto the podium it was a great moment but I think I was still in shock, it's just amazing to get a medal and it's good to know that the Irish team will not be coming back empty-handed."

Doyle, who still has the 200m and 50m breaststroke to come over the next three days, entered the final as the fourth fastest qualifier.

"Putting in a performance like that just makes you believe that anything is possible. I've got the World championships in two weeks and I can't wait for that but first I've to focus on the 200m and 50m breaststroke."

Swim Ireland high performance director Banks not only hailed the success of 22-year-old Doyle but also that of Andrew Meegan, who clocked another Irish senior record in the final of 1500m freestyle, finishing seventh overall in 15:24.56.

At the European Junior Swimming Championships in Poznan, there were three Irish swimmers in semi-final action. Bangor's Mary Kate McDowell swam a 2:07.80 in the 200m freestyle, while Gemma Kane set a new PB of 1:04.08 in the 100m butterfly and Clodagh Flood, also in the 100m butterfly, clocked 1:04.24.

Irish Independent

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