Sunday 25 September 2016

Gold puts Murphy on top of the world

Published 01/05/2015 | 02:30

Alex Murphy, UCD, competes in his semi-final of the men’s 50m breaststroke event at the Irish Open Swimming Championships yesterday
Alex Murphy, UCD, competes in his semi-final of the men’s 50m breaststroke event at the Irish Open Swimming Championships yesterday

Alex Murphy announced his arrival at the top of Irish swimming when he qualified for the World Championships with a gold medal-winning performance in the 50m breaststroke on the opening night of the Irish Open Championships in the National Aquatic Centre.

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The 19-year-old UCD swimmer joined Fiona Doyle, Sycerika McMahon and Open water competitor Chris Bryan on the team for Kazan (Russia) this summer when he clocked a qualifying time of 27.58 in the final after going close in the semi-finals with 27.62.

Murphy said: "I wanted to get the time in the semi-finals. When I didn't get it I was disappointed and wasn't sure if I could do it in the final but I went for it and am really pleased with the result."

Larne's Danielle Hill set an Irish junior record in the semi-finals of the 100m backstroke, her 1:04.12 knocking one tenth of a second off Jane Roberts' record.

London Olympian Grainne Murphy returned to national level swimming with victory in the 800m freestyle. The Wexford swimmer led from the start to win in 8:43.37 ahead of American Kendall Brent (8:46.70). Teenager Antoinette Neamt was fourth in 8:48.31.

Brendan Gibbons won the 1500m in 15:51.34. He touched in third place behind American swimmers Matthew Hirschberger (15:29.08) and Gavin Springer (15:50.90).

Brendan Hyland retained the 200m butterfly national title for the third year running, recording a time of 2:00.29 - over a second off his Irish record of 1:58.68.

Lisburn's Rachel Bethel claimed the 200m freestyle. She was the first Irish swimmer home in 2:03.72. In the men's event Dundalk's Brian O'Sullivan touched in second place in 1:52.62 behind Denmark's Frans Johannessen (1:50.82).

Irish Independent

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