Nocher 200m freestyle

Melanie Nocher showed good form on day three of the World Championships by finishing 3rd in her women’s 200m freestyle heat in a new personal best time of 2:01.33.

The 23-year-old Co Down swimmer is relatively new on to the freestyle scene but swam a controlled race, splitting 59.07 at the half way mark and maintaining her position alongside the leader Joerdis Steinegger of Austria.

She put in an impressive spurt in the third 50m where she showed no sign of letting up and reached a new personal level. Nocher’s previous fastest over this distance was 2:01.35 which she recorded at the Irish Long Course Nationals in Dublin in April.

English duo Jo Jackson and Rebecca Adlington also failed to prgress.

Nocher said: “That was kind of the game plan, not to go out too hard and then kind of lose it coming back. It’s all really preparation for Friday, for the 200m back.”

Nocher struggled to reach her best levels in yesterday’s 100m backstroke, recording a time a full second outside her best.

She added: “I wasn’t happy yesterday and it got me a bit all over the place, but you’ve got to realise as well it’s a world international competition and it is a lot harder to swim PBs in the morning than it is in the evening. I think it’s just getting used to swimming fast in the morning so for me that’s a good time.”

Also in action today was Dublin swimmer Barry Murphy, who clocked a 28.13 in his 50m breaststroke heat to finish 18th overall. That was two places shy of advancing to tonight’s semi-final.

Murphy, who has been training with world famous coach Mike Bottom at Club Wolverine in Michigan for the past year expressed his disillusionment after the race:

He said: “I don’t know what happened, don’t think I’ve done the right work in the last couple of weeks. It’s a shame, because I’ve worked so hard this year.

“I think I was slipping a bit on the finish, last five strokes to the wall, everything else felt alright – good start, good breakout, good first 25m. I just tied up at the end a bit.”

Murphy goes in the 50m freestyle on Friday morning, his last remaining event of the Championships.

He added: “I’ve learned that maybe what I did over the last couple of weeks I should probably not do again next year before the Olympics. I’ve got the 50m free [on Friday], let’s just see how that goes.”

There are no Irish swimmers in action tomorrow. The women’s 4x200m freestyle team relay are in action on Thursday.

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