©INPHO/Andrea Staccioli
# London 2012
Illness derails Nocher's backstroke bid
Melanie Nocher finished seventh in her 200m backstroke heat this morning.

Updated 17.25

ILLNESS STRUCK IRELAND’S Olympic swimmers again as Melanie Nocher struggled in the heats of the 200m backstroke.

Nocher was visibly below her best in this morning’s second heat and finished seventh in 2:16.29, well outside her Irish record of 2:10.75.

Afterwards the Holywood native revealed that her preparations for this, her main event in London, had been disrupted by stomach problems in recent days.

“Well I gave it my best have had gastro intensitis since sunday so have been feeling anything but good, least I can say I gave it my all,” she tweeted.

“I tried to brush it off and not really think too much of it but unfortunately it carried on it until today,” Nocher later explained in an interview with RTÉ. “I gave it my all.

“There were obviously times when I thought about pulling out because it was pretty bad illness, but I’d been training so well before this so I just wanted to give it my all.

I’m proud of what I’ve done and what I’ve achieved. It’s my second Olympics and unfortunately the result wasn’t what I wanted and isn’t me as an athlete. It doesn’t reflect how I’ve trained and the four years I’ve put into this but not everything goes right on the day and unfortunately I just wasn’t right.

It was a very painful last 50 and it was hard to look up and see that time in the Olympics.

Nocher, 24, becomes the second Irish swimmer to see her Olympic dream ruined by illness this week. On Tuesday Gráinne Murphy pulled out of her main event, the 800m freestyle, after she failed to recover from a viral infection.

After withdrawing from the 200m freestyle to conserve her energy, Murphy was also far from best on her only appearance in the water when she trailed off into a distant eighth in Monday’s 400m freestyle heats.

‘It’s frustrating and it’s disheartening’ — Barry Murphy ponders what might have been