©INPHO/Andrea Staccioli
# Relief
Nocher delighted by Olympic qualification
The swimmer also described the difficulties of coping with the enormous pressure on her shoulders.

MELANIE NOCHER has expressed her delight at securing qualification for the London 2012 Olympics yesterday.

Speaking to RTE’s Sport at Seven programme, Nocher said:

“It’s great to be going to my second Olympics. It’s been a hard year for me – this is my last chance. I wanted to go out with a bang and I did that.”

In relation to the edge-of-the-seat circumstances surrounding her qualification, she said: “If you’re going to do it, you might as well create drama.”

Nocher also said there was plenty of “unintentional pressure” on her to qualify:

“People just want you to do it for you. The longer it lasted, the more pressure there was. But I’m glad that it all paid off.”

She also described the difficulties of coping with this pressure.

“At the end of the day, athletes are still people. I find it hard. I try to relax.

“[It's about] stepping up and thinking you can do it. It’s hard to be confident all the time.”

She added that the build-up and hype surrounding the Olympics was particularly palpable from her perspective:

“Because I live in England, it’s still very much in my face.

“And it’s been great with all the sponsors and everything – they become like an additional family.”

She added that she felt no need to offer advice to less experienced Irish swimmers, such as Gráinne Murphy, who will also be on the plane to London:

“I don’t think they need my experience of Beijing. I think they’ll be fine.”

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