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Sycerika follows up bronze with nine Irish bests

By David Kelly

Swimming sensation Sycerika McMahon returned home yesterday with a bronze medal and nine new Irish records from her four days of competition at the European short course championships in Chartres, France.

Swim Ireland Performance Director Peter Banks was quick to hail the achievements of the 17-year-old from Portaferry who just missed out on another medal on Sunday when finishing fourth in the 100m breaststroke final in an Irish record of 1:06.18. Gold went to Dane Rikke Pedersen in a new European best of 1:04.12, while Marina Garcia pipped McMahon for bronze in 1:05.82.

On the opening day of the championships the Leander teenager won bronze in the 50m breaststroke and then went on to be placed seventh in the 100m individual medley final, in another Irish record of 1:01.12, on Saturday night.

McMahon, in her final A-level year at school, will turn her attention to the Irish championships next week although her goal is next summer’s World long course championships in Barcelona.

“Sycerika has had a fantastic week, she has improved every time she has got into the pool and this has set her up for the rest of the season, said Banks. “Her determination and belief is an example to the younger swimmers coming through.

“She listens very carefully to her coach Bobby Madine who is doing a great job with her. Sycerika has had a lot of swims this week but she has stepped up to the mark every time.

“It all looks good for the year ahead and overall the Irish team has had a great week.

“We have ended the championships with 21 new Irish records, we’ve had a great team atmosphere with the 10 swimmers here and the more junior swimmers have seen what can be achieved.”

Barry Murphy was sixth in the 50m breaststroke final on Saturday night in a new Irish record of 26.60 and yesterday finished 15th overall in the 50m butterfly with a time of 23.57 in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Hannah Miley added the European 400IM short course title to the long course title with a new European record of 4:23.47, edging out Hungarian pair Katinka Hosszu and Zsuzsanna Jakabos who clocked 4:23.91 and 4:25.61 respectively.

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