Monday, August 11, 2008

Swimming: Goggles Disaster for Nocher

A mishap with her goggles cost swimmer Melanie Nocher dearly in the 200m freestyle heats at Beijing.
Nocher got off to a good start but paused to readjust her goggles just 30 seconds into the race, losing ground on the leaders and finishing seventh. Apparently, she also had to borrow a cap from Andrew Bree - her own one was Nike, and Asics are official suppliers to the Irish team.
Her time of 2:04.29, was 3.5 seconds behind the winner, Estonia's Elina Partoka, and two seconds outside of her personal best.
The row over Ireland's Olympic swimming caps ended on Tuesday night with the arrival of a replacement batch.
When Belfast swimmer Melanie Nocher had to change caps just before her 200 metres freestyle heats on Monday night, the row between the Olympic Council of Ireland and Irish swimming manager Keith Bewley came to a head. Nocher complained afterwards that a leaking pair of goggles had left her "virtually blind" during the race.
Olympic Games officials had complained about the size of logo on the side of the official Swim Ireland cap and, when forced to change, Nocher did not strap her goggles on from inside, as normal. All three Irish swimmers - Nocher, Andrew Bree and 18-year-old Dubliner Aisling Cooney - began their Olympic challenge in plain black caps.
Bewley's assertion that the problem was over the size of the national symbol was rubbished by the OCI, who said the complaint related to "the size and number" of commercial logos on the side of the Irish caps.

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