Belfast Telegraph

Bree’s long route to Beijing

By David Kelly

Andrew Bree will leave for Singapore today as he counts down to the Beijing Olympics.

Bree has hooked up with the Venezuelan team in order to be fully prepared for his campaign in China.

While fellow Irish Olympians Melanie Nocher and Aisling Cooney will be going straight to the village where they will train in the Olympic pool, Bree feels he will benefit more from being with the Venezuelans and his coach Jim Rumbaugh.

“I think this is a good move for me because I’ll be with a team who will be working very hard with the same goal as me as they prepare for Beijing,” said Bree, who was home briefly at the weekend.

“I’m feeling very good and confident looking ahead to Beijing. Jim (Rumbaugh) has been with me since the British championships in Liverpool and we’ve been working hard with a a few of other guys from Tennessee.

“I think I actually surprised him with just how I handled the intense training we did in Dublin. We were doing hard sets of 50m and I was repeatedly hitting around 33 seconds and then we had a 15 second break and off again.

“At this stage of my preparation I couldn’t be more happy. It’s just a matter of staying focused and maintaining this intensity.”

While Bree is delighted that Cooney and Nocher are joining him in Beijing he remains very frustrated that Barry Murphy was not also selected. Indeed, it seems that he wasn’t even nominated by Swim Ireland despite some fine B times, which left him just two tenths off the automatic qualification mark for the 50m free.

Bree said: “I can’t believe that Barry isn’t going. He deserves to be there and I can’t see how it is good for the sport leaving him behind.” The Helen’s Bay man, who missed out four years ago in similar circumstances, is eagerly awaiting the chance to take on the very best.

“I love being on the big stage and I believe with the training I’ve done I’m giving myself the best chance of doing well.”

Meanwhile, at the Irish Age group championships Leander’s young prospect Sycerika McMahon took gold in the 200m butterfly and 200m breaststroke. Curtis Coulter of Ards won an exciting under-14 100m freestyle final, taking gold in 58.14.

Belfast Telegraph


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