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Melanie Nocher breaks Irish 200m Backstroke record and qualifies for European finals

The Belfast-born swimmer will need to find an extra 0.8 of a second if she is to make the Olympic A standard.

Melanie Nocher broke the Irish Senior 200m Backstroke record on Monday.
Melanie Nocher broke the Irish Senior 200m Backstroke record on Monday.
Image: ©INPHO/Andrea Staccioli

THE RECORDS KEEP falling for Ireland’s Melanie Nocher as the swimmer broke a national record in qualifying for the final of the 200m Backstroke at the European Swimming Championships at Debrecen in Hungary.

The Belfast swimmer knocked three hundreths of a second of the Irish Senior record after she touched in for a semi-final time of 2:11.68.

The encouraging performance was an improvement on the time she logged at the Irish Olympic Trials at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin in March.

The 23-year-old was the sixth fastest qualifier for the backstroke final.

The time surpassed a mark of 2:13.09 that she logged in the morning swim to reach the semi finals.

Nocher, from Ards, will be striving to reach the Olympic A qualifying standard of 2:10.84 in the final if she is to reach the London 2012 games.

She represented Ireland at the Olympics in 2008 and claimed a bronze at the European Short-course Championships earlier this year.

Close call

A number of other Irish hopefuls will feature at week-long meet, including 17-year-old Sycerika McMahon.

The 2011 Texaco Young Sports Star of the Year, a two-time European junior champion, will compete in the 100m Breaststroke on Tuesday .

McMahon missed out on the Olympic A time by three tenths of a second in the event in Dublin last month.

Shani Stallard will also compete in the breaststroke event, while Bethany Carson, who finished 37th in the 50m Butterfly on Monday afternoon, will swim in the heats of the 100m Freestyle.

Also in action were Karl Burdis, 28th overall in the 100m Backcrawl and Nuala Murphy, who finished 16th in the 400m Individual Medley.

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