KATIE TAYLOR MAY just have some competition as Ireland’s main medal hope after Sycerika McMahon captured a Silver medal at the European Championships on Sunday.
The 17-year-old, who made the final as second-fastest qualifier, smashed the Irish 50m Breaststroke record as she finished in 31.27 seconds.
McMahon finished a mere two hundreths of a second behind the winner, Petra Chocova from the Czech Republic, at the championships in Debrecen, Hungary.
The Belfast-trained swimmer shattered the Irish record, for the same discipline, by .22 of a second. Caroline Ruhhau of Germany took bronze with a time of 31.35.
The previous time of 31.49 had been set by McMahon at the World Swimming Championships in 2011.
The medal win came five days after McMahon, from Portaferry, Co. Down, secured Olympic qualification for the 100m Breaststroke after finishing in fifth position in the final.
Peter Banks, the high performance director at Swim Ireland was delighted with the teenager’s performance. He said:
It’s been a great week for Irish Swimming, two (Olympic) ‘A’ standards earlier in the week and then to top it off Sycerika’s great performance for the Silver medal today, the team have had a great championship overall.
McMahon teamed up later in the day with Bethany Carson, Fiona Doyle and Melanie Nocher, who also qualified for the games this week.
The grouping took part in the 4x100m Medley Relay but finished 12th overall as they recorded a time of 4:13.75.
The week of competition in Hungary has garnered a Silver medal, two Olympic qualifications, four finalists, eight semi-finalists, and three new Irish Senior swimming records.