Ireland’s Sycerika McMahon has just missed out on qualification for the semi-finals of the 200m IM at the London Games.
McMahon was third in her heat, setting a new personal best of 2:14.76, just behind heat winner Ganna Dzerkal of Ukraine who finished in 2:14.55.
However, the fastest 16 across all five heats qualify and McMahon was just edged out, finishing in 22nd place. Indeed, such was the pace of the other qualifiers that even race winner Dzerkal did not progress.
The 17-year-old from Down got off to a fine start, powering to the fore in the opening butterfly section and made the turn in second place.
The backstroke leg is McMahon’s weakest and she dropped down the field and was back down in fourth place at the 100m stage.
However, McMahon made up plenty on the third leg, the 50m breaststroke, and went into the final leg leading.
Dzerkal pulled away in the closing freestyle leg, but McMahon kept pace and finished less than .25 of a second behind her.
Afterwards, speaking to RTÉ, McMahon immediately set her sights on further improvement. Despite setting a new personal best, the teenager is already looking to break that record.
“I gave it everything. I’d probably like to get a bit faster still to be honest, but what can you do? That was my lesson today” – Sycerika McMahon.
“I suppose I’m pretty pleased, I’ll just go back to training after this and see what I can correct. There’s obviously a few areas which still need to be cleaned up.
“I definitely think I can go faster but we’ll save that for another day. It was just a great experience coming here to London anyway, my main goal was to qualify so everything after that was a bonus.”