The 2012 Carlton Long Course Irish Swimming Championships (which also double as the Irish Olympic Trials) got underway Wednesday at the National Aquatic Centre (NAC) in Abbotstown.
Highlight of the first day was Gráinne Murphy’s gold in the 200m freestyle where she held off the strong challenge of Leander’s 16 years old Sycerika McMahon to win in 2:00.02 as against 2:01.90.
This is the 18 years old from Ballinaboola’s only swim in the Irish Championships before heading to the British equivalent ( Olympic test event) which has a full Olympic programme at the London 2012 venue.
At the Olympic’ Aquatic Centre in London, Murphy will take part in four events: the 200m and 400m Individual Medley and the 400m and 800m Freestyle, and equally importantly she will be one of the few non GB swimmers who will have had experience of the venue.
She said: ” Everything now is in preparation for the Olympics .If I decided to swim in both that would have meant swimming non stop for 12 days.
The British trials give me the full Olympic programme and it gives me the chance to compete against some of those I will face in July.
The London test event will also give me the chance to see how training has been going. It will give me more experience and I will get a good feel for the venue”.
Gráinne , who is one of only two Irish swimmers who have already qualified for the Olympics, (Barry Murphy being the other) , will then travel to Denmark to compete in the Danish national championships. Whilst in Denmark she will also train with Lotte Friis, the swimmer
who beat her to the gold medal in the 1500m freestyle at the European championships.
Peter Banks other High performance swimmers are bidding for Olympic qualification at the National Swimming Championships ,in particular rising star Sycerika McMahon and Beijing Olympian Melanie Nocher. McMahon’s main event is the 100m breaststroke the heats of
which are on Thursday. Melanie Nocher meantime will hope for qualification in the 200m backstroke, heats on Friday morning with final later that night and she will be aiming to beat the Olympic qualifying standard 2:10.84 here.
Later on Wednesday night, the very promising Sycerika McMahon took the Womens 50m LC title in 31.50 ahead of Jean-Marie Neethling whilst Kilkenny’s womens relay team took gold in the 4×100 metres freestyle relay in a record 4mins 4.25 seconds.
U.S-based Barry Murphy, who suffers from asthma, has decided to miss the National Championships to continue his preparation in the US.
Congratulations to Bethany Firth, the Ards SC swimmer who has qualified for the 100 metres backstroke at the 2012 Paralympics with a semi-final time of 1m 02.29 s.