Doyle’s Olympic berth

by Gazette Reporter

PORTMARNOCK Swim Club member Fiona Doyle booked her ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics, won a bronze medal, and smashed a self-held Irish record within the space of two days at the World University Games in Gwangiu, South Korea earlier this week.

Olympic qualification was secured last Sunday in the semi-final of the 100m breaststroke, clocking 1.07.67 which ranked her fourth going into Monday’s final.

That time was just a hundredth of a second off her Irish senior record of 1.07.66 from the final of University Games in 2013, where she took home a silver medal.

She was in even better form in Monday’s final, swimming 1.07.15 to beat her previous best by half a second and win bronze in the event.

Speaking after she collected her medal, the University of Calgary student was absolutely thrilled.

“I’m absolutely delighted with today’s result,” said Doyle. “Getting the Olympic time in the semi-final was great as it meant I could get it out of my head and concentrate on swimming as fast as I could.

“I’m happy with the medal, another colour might have been nicer, but it was over half a second faster than my best time so I’m pleased with that.

“Technically my race could have been better but I can improve on that and bring it into World Championships in a few weeks which is my main goal this summer.”

In so doing, she became the first swimmer to qualify for the Olympic Games. After her bronze medal win, Doyle just missed out on the 200m breaststroke semi-final by 0.14 of a second touching in 2.33.98.

Doyle will return to the pool on Thursday for the 50m breaststroke where she is ranked third on paper and will be hoping to add to her fine performances to date.

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