Record-breaker Murphy strikes Euro gold again

GRAINNE MURPHY claimed her third gold medal at the European Junior Swimming Championships, winning the 200m Individual Medley in 2.14.22.

The 16-year-old girl from Ballinaboola, New Ross broke the European Junior Record in the semi-finals on Saturday in 2.14.15. Murphy had already won gold in the 400m IM and 800m earlier in the week, as well as bronze for the 1500m freestyle.

“The race felt really strong,” said Murphy. “My butterfly leg was good and my stroke rate on my breaststroke was really high – which was what I was looking for. I expected the British girl to come back on the breaststroke and I knew the Italian girl was going to go out strong too.”

Murphy travels to Italy today to join 12 other Irish swimmers for a training camp before the World Championships in Rome in two weeks’ time.

Ireland’s top age-group swimmers were in action yesterday at the National Aquatic Centre, on the final day of the Irish National Age-Group Championships. Conor Turner (Aer Lingus SC) won the boys U15 1500m freestyle in 17.12.74, 33 seconds ahead of Jack Keogh (Galway SC). The 15-year-old from Dublin also had a stellar performance in the 200m freestyle final, finishing in 2.00.48. Turner will represent Ireland this summer at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Finland.

Fourteen year-old Grace Brannagan (Templeogue SC) took the girls U14 200m backstroke title in 2.25.32.

The boys U15 100m breaststroke was a close race, with a tight finish between Limerick’s Peter Clarke and Larne’s Mark Wylie. Clarke got the touch in a time of 1.09.23 with Wylie finishing in 1.09.43.

Dayna Clegg (Templeogue SC) stormed to a national title in the girls U14 200m freestyle final, winning it in 2.11.44. Second place went to Grace Barnnagan also from Templeogue, in 2.14.54 with third place going to Cormorant’s Alannah Griffin in 2.16.36.

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