Ireland enjoying golden age -- Murphy
THE stock of Irish swimming on the international stage is rising and Dubliner Barry Murphy is relishing playing his part at the World Championships in Shanghai.
Grainne Murphy remains Ireland's best hope of a medal, following her European success last year.
The sport was recently boosted by the impressive performances of Sycerika McMahon, who is in Shanghai for several events, along with fellow Northerners Melanie Nocher and Clare Dawson.
Nocher will be competing in the 200m backstroke.
Barry Murphy, who is based in Michigan, is the only Irish swimmer to have clocked a FINA 'A' qualification time for London 2012.
His 1:00.77 was enough to beat American record-holder Eric Shanteau and reigning Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima at the Indianapolis Grand Prix earlier this year.
Murphy competes on the opening day of competition at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Centre on Sunday in the 100m breaststroke.
"I'd like to think this is a golden age for Irish swimming," he said.
"Depth-wise and diversity-wise, I think we're leading the charge for a bright future.
"I'm expecting this meet to be a trial run for London this year. I've tried new things in training and it has gone great.
"I've had a full year of solid work behind me, and I feel good about what I've done and where I'm going.
"Working with Mike Bottom in Michigan was a whole new level of intensity and consistency that I've never done before.
"It's a programme geared for London and it's awesome."
Clare Dawson: 100m freestyle, 4x200m free relay
Sycerika McMahon: 50m &100m breaststroke, 100m butterfly, 400m free, 4x200m free relay
Barry Murphy: 50m &100m free, 50m & 100m breast
Grainne Murphy: 200m & 400m IM, 800m & 1500m free, 4x200m free
Melanie Nocher: 100m & 200m back, 200m free, 4X200m free