Fiona Doyle first Irish swimmer to qualify for Rio Olympics
Dubliner makes final of 100m breaststroke at World University Games in South Korea
Fiona Doyle (University of Calgary) celebrates after finishing third in the women’s 100m breaststroke semi-final at the World University Games at Nambu University in Gwangju, South Korea. Her time of 1:07.67 makes her the first Irish swimmer to qualify for the Olympics in Rio next year. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Limerick’s Fiona Doyle has become the first Irish swimmer to qualify for next years Olympics in Rio when she qualified for Monday’s final of the women’s 100 metres breaststroke at the World University Games in South Korea.
The 23-year-old University of Calgary student finished in fourth place overall from the two semi-finals, swimming a time of 1:07.67 in coming third in her heat, 0.18 of a second inside the Olympic qualifying mark.
It was one of her best ever swims as Doyle was a mere one hundredth of a second outside her own Irish record of 1.07.66, which she set at the previous World University Games in 2013 in Russia, where she won a silver medal.
Texas A&M’s Sycerika McMahon finished 16th overall in the same event in 1:10.59, but her more favoured events take place later in the week as she used the 100breaststroke as a warm-up.
Gráinne Murphy, competing in her first international race since the London Olympics in 2012, just missed out on a place in the women’s 1500 metres final when she was placed ninth overall after the heats in a time of 16:47.46.