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US swimmers thwart Murphy at NAC
03 May 2015 19:07
By John Kenny at the NAC
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Much of the spotlight on the final day of competition at the Irish Open Swimming Championships at the NAC shone on the women’s 1500 metres Freestyle, which featured the London 2012 Olympian Grainne Murphy, who won a European silver medal in the event in Budapest in 2010.
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Murphy, who won the women’s 800 metres Freestyle earlier this week, went out very fast over the opening 700 and led from lane three.
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However, out in lane six, 16-year-old US college swimmer Joy Field began to wear down Murphy over the second leg and overtook the fading Irish swimmer over the back end of the race.
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Field went onto take the gold in 16.39.70, with Murphy having to be content with third place as another US swimmer, Kendal Brent, came through to take the runners up spot.
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Despite her tender years, Field looks to be one for the future in US swimming and has qualified for the US trials in the women's 800 metres Freestyle, a meet which will determine which US swimmers goes to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
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Murphy’s time was 16.47.25, well outside her national record, but she won’t be too unhappy with that considering she has had health problems during London 2012 and since then. Those problems now seem to be behind the Wexford swimmer since her move to France.
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Murphy was back swimming in Ireland for the first time since the 2013 short course nationals and has now transferred to swimming and training in France under Philippe Lucas, the coach to French Olympic champion Laura Manaudou, who won gold in the women’s 400 Freestyle at the 2004 Athens Games.
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UCD’s Shauna O’Brien was an agonising .03 of a second shy of setting her second national record in as many days as she won gold in the 100 metres Butterfly in 60.56 seconds, as Bethany Carsons 2012 record remained intact.
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Twenty-year-old O’Brien lowered Carson’s 50 fly record on Saturday.
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Nicholas Quinn of Castlebar qualified for the World University games in South Korea this July when he recorded a gold medal winning time of 2.13.18 in the men’s 200 Breaststroke final.
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