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Murphy roars to new record

Swimming sensation Grainne Murphy smashed the national 200m breaststroke record at the Dave McCullagh memorial meet in the University of Limerick.

Murphy, aged 16, set a new junior and senior best of 2 mins 32.54 seconds in the heats, knocking 2.32secs off Fiona Doyle's junior record and 1.04secs off Emma Robinson's senior record.

She then improved on that time when she won the final in 2:32.40 in the final. Murphy also won the women's 400m freestyle in 4:17.13.

Last summer Murphy set Irish swimming alight. At the European Junior Championships in Prague she took three gold medals and one bronze, making her the most successful swimmer at the meet.

She was the first Irish swimmer ever to win a European junior title.

In the 400 metres medley, her winning time of 4:40.88 bettered the long-standing championships record set by the current Olympic champion, Yana Klochkova. She also won her favourite 200m medley in a new European junior record time. A few weeks later she broke Michelle de Bruin's Irish record for that disciple at the Wold Senior Championships.


Even with the ban on aerodynamic suits this year, her times are continuing to improve.

Winning the men's 400m freestyle in 4:07.16 was Aer Lingus swimmer Andrew Meegan. Olympic swimmer Aisling Cooney helped her club ESB to victory in the 4x50m relay with a new Irish record of 1:52.11. Making up the winning quartet were Gillian Gavaghan, Emma McShane and India McGlynn. Cooney also won the 200m and 50m backstroke.

Meanwhile, NAC's Kyle Stolk had six wins at the Dutch National Age Group Championships in Heerenveen, Holland, and set a new Dutch age group record in the 200m freestyle.

Stolk, competing in the 13-14 age group, holds joint Dutch and South African citizenship and has been living and training in Ireland for almost three years. He is coached by David Malone and goes to school at St Peter's Dunboyne.

His wins came in the 50m, 100m, and 400m as well as the 200m freestyle events, and also in the 100m and 200m butterfly. In the 200m individual medley he finished a close second.

At the 2009 Irish Age Group Championships, Stolk won six events.