Saturday 16 December 2017

Gráinne back training in home waters

GRAINNE MURPHY has turned to the comforts provided by her home pool in New Ross as the anger over the departure of her coach, Ronald Claes, rumbles on.

The 19-year-old Ballinaboola star is attempting to put her Olympic disappointment behind her as she bides her time before making a decision on her longterm future.

Gráinne was considered Ireland's best medal hope in swimming in London, but she made the difficult decision to withdraw after her first race as she was still recovering from glandular fever and was well below her best.

However, what started as a year full of hope took an even worse twist subsequently when Swim Ireland dispensed with the services of Murphy's highlyrated coach, Ronald Claes, who had worked with her for five years and was in charge of the high performance training group based in the University of Limerick.

It led to speculation that she might train abroad, but Murphy has been working recently with coach Fran Ronan at the 25metre pool in New Ross which is half the size of the Shannonside facility.

She told the 'Irish Independent' on Wednesday last that she has yet to make a decision on her long-term plans, but her needs at the moment are being met in the pool close to her homeplace.

A storm continues to brew in swimming circles over the decision of Swim Ireland not to renew Ronald Claes' contract. His training group, including Murphy who moved from Ballinaboola to Limerick in her early teens to further her career, were very upset, while the university authorities were angered over the lack of consultation beforehand since they part-funded the well-regarded coach.

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