LIMERICK swimmer Fiona Doyle claimed a seventh place finish in the final of the womens’ 50m breaststroke at the European Swimming Championships in Berlin on Sunday.
Twenty two-year-old Doyle, from Ballycummin, clocked 31.37 seconds for the event, the first time she had competed in a major international final.
University of Calgary student Doyle would have had to break her own Irish record of 30.93 to have claimed a medal in the prestigious final.
Doyle said that while she would have loved to have claimed a top four finish, she was proud of how she had performed in making the final of the 50m breastroke after a demanding week of competition.
“I would love to have been fifth or even fourth. Emotionally, it has been a really, really long week for me. The fact that I could even just turn it around yesterday and make the final - which I didn’t think was possible a couple of days ago - I am really happy with myself for that and really proud,” she told RTE Sport.
“Yes, I am disappointed, but I have to take something positive from this meet and the fact I was able to stand up on those blocks tonight and give it my all, I have to be proud of myself for that.
“I think I got a bit excited there with 25 metres to go and sped up my stroke rate. That wasn’t good, but I am happy with the start which was what we were working on.
“I am very proud of Irish swimming to stand up here and show that we are not just here to participate. We can be at the top level. For me, it is experience when I go to World Championships, so I can see what the pressure is like so when I do go to meets like that I don’t have to worry ‘oh, my God, I am in a final, I have been here before. I am at the top of me game and as good as any of the girls who are here.’ Even that in itself, it is a positive.
“I know what I need to work on now. It is a matter of going home, rewatching my races here and figuring out what we can do better, what we can tweak, so that when next year rolls around, when the Olympics roll around, I have it nailed.”