Melanie Nocher wins bronze at European Short Course Championships

Melanie Nocher
Melanie Nocher looks back at the results screen after Sunday's 200m backstroke final in Poland

Belfast swimmer Melanie Nocher clinched her first major championship medal as she took bronze in the 200m backstroke final at the European Short Course Championships in Poland on Sunday.

Nocher, 23, set her second Irish record of the day as she clocked 2:04.29 in Sunday afternoon's final in Szczecin.

The Irish team member had cut .62secs off her national record in the morning heats with a 2:05.00 clocking.

Ukraine's Daryna Zevina won the gold in a championship record of 2:02.25.

That left her over a second clear of Spain's Duane Da Rocha Marce (2:03.32) with Nocher third ahead of Germany's Jenny Mensing (2:05.48).

Nocher's previous best major championship performance was a fifth place in the 200m backstroke at the 2008 European Short Course Championships.

The Northern Ireland swimmer's medal should be a major boost to her confidence ahead of her attempts to ensure qualification for next summer's London Olympics.

Nocher's morning heat time had qualified her second fastest for the final.

The Belfast swimmer pulled out of Saturday's 400 freestyle final to concentrate on her specialist 200m backstroke.

Nocher set two Irish records in Thursday's 100m backstroke as she finished 15th overall.

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