McMahon and Evans leave with pride intact
Irish in Action:What a difference a day makes. Just over 24 hours after failing to find her form in her favoured 100m breaststroke, Sycerika McMahonturned things around in the heats of the 200m individual medley this morning.The Portaferry teenager may not have made the semi-finals, but she shaved over a second off her personal best to clock a time of 2 minutes, 14.76 seconds. In terms of performance, it was well beyond expectations for the 17-year-old who will come away from these Games with invaluable experience.
Although she finished third in her heat, McMahon was eventually pushed down into 22nd place as the heats progressed with just the top 16 advancing to the next stage. However, she will leave the Aquatic Centre with her head held high with a swim that bodes well for the future.
“Yesterday I wasn’t really very pleased with the 100 breaststroke,” McMahon explained after today’s race. “So today I just decided to go all out, to take that risk from the very start.
“I definitely think I could go faster . . . it was such a good experience coming here anyway. The goal was always to qualify so whatever I did after that was always a bonus. I’ve absolutely loved, every single second, there is such a brilliant atmosphere.
“And there is so much I can learn from these guys. They’re at the top of their game, in a few years I want to be there too. Even standing on the blocks beside them was really a privilege”
Chinese teenage sensation Ye Shiwen set herself up for a golden double when she posted the fastest qualifying time in the event. The 16-year-old, who shattered the world record to win the 400 medley on Saturday, was untroubled winning her morning heat in the four-lap race, stopping the clock at 2:08.90.
Despite easing off on the final freestyle leg, Ye still finished well clear of her main rivals to emerge as the nearly unsinkable favourite to snatch the gold. She was more than a second and a half ahead of her nearest rival, Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, and more than three seconds clear of Australia's Stephanie Rice.
Badminton: Scott Evansfailed to trouble the great Lin Dan as the Olympic champion launched his title defence with an emphatic victory. The Chinese superstar, widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, was barely extended by the Dubliner as he eased to a 21-8 21-14 victory in their first-round match at Wembley Arena.
The victory sees Lin go straight through to the last-16 knockout phase at London 2012 as the pair were the only players in Group P. Evans had described the match as the biggest of his life and made a confident start as the crowd got behind him.
The world number 76 hit a couple of good winners in the opening exchanges but Lin, despite playing well within himself, soon asserted his authority. A run of seven unanswered points put Lin, seeded only second behind his great rival Lee Chong Wei, in command.
He controlled the rallies with ease and often only had to wait long enough for Evans to hit the net. Evans did break through occasionally with some fine cross-court shots, much to the delight of those watching, but it did not delay the inevitable Lin victory for long.
The victory sees Lin go straight through to the last-16 knockout phase at London 2012 as the pair were the only players in Group P.
Canoeing: Hannah Craigdid just about enough to make it through to Thursday’s semi-finals in the kayak K1 slalom, the Co Antrim paddler qualifying 14th out of the 15 to advance. The 27-year-old had plenty of speed on the first run but got out of position and ran up four time penalties to leave her on 117.07 seconds.