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Sycerika McMahon revels in medal success after London let-down

The Belfast swimmer won a bronze medal at the European Short Course Championships at the weekend.

Sycerika McMahon shows off her bronze medal at Dublin Airport.
Sycerika McMahon shows off her bronze medal at Dublin Airport.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

SYCERIKA MCMAHON ARRIVED back in Ireland early this week as the country’s new standard bearer for swimming.

Her bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke at the European Short Course Swimming Championships now sits beside a silver she won in the same discipline in May.

McMahon, 17, from Portaferry also set nine Irish swimming records over the four days of competition in Chartres.

She spoke to Off the Ball last night and revealed that she was motivated at the championships in France by a less-than-spectacular Olympics

McMahon finished eight in her 100m Breaststroke at London 2012. She then swam a personal best in the 200m Individual Medley but failed to progress from her heat despite a third place finish.

She said, “It was my first [swim] meet since the London games so I wanted to do something good to try and make up for what happened in the summer. I’m glad it went really well. Nine records is good and the medal too. It was always a bonus.”

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McMahon added that she is always looking to improve myself, her speed and strength. She said:

I felt that I didn’t do myself justice over there in London so it was good to get back in the water and feel really strong.

“I want to be the best at what I do and looking at people who are the best just inspires you to do even better and train harder and faster.”

The Belfast swimmer called the slew of national records and bronze medal a ‘good start to the season’ and admitted that she felt a responsibility for raising the profile of swimming in Ireland.

She said, “I’m one of the people that competes at the big events and represent my country, which I’m very, very proud of, so I do feel 100% responsible.

“At the end of the day, if we don’t have the funding then we can’t be expected to compete with the other countries and to win.”

McMahon added, “Boxing has been very, very good, and they deserve all the funding they get, but to start improving our sport we need some of that as well.”

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Patrick McCarry

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