by John Kenny
Barry Murphy returned a sensational swim to win the gold medal final of the men's 100m breastroke and qualify for the World Swimming Championships at the Indianapolis Grand Prix last night.
Murphy, swimming for his US University club Wolverine Michigan, won in a time of 1:00.77 seconds, shattering the Irish Senior Record by .99 of a second and setting the second fastest time in the world this year.
In winning gold, Murphy also relegated the Japanese Olympic Champion Kosuke Katijima into 4th place with US record holder Mark Gangloff having to be content with the Bronze medal.
Murphy's time would be enough him a place on the Irish Olympic team for London 2012 according to Swim Ireland ‘A’ qualifying standards if he repeats it during the designated qualifying period.
It qualifies him for the World Swimming Championships set to take place in Shanghai in China in July this year.
The Dubliner, who failed to make the Irish Olympic team in 2008, was on the verge of quitting the sport at one stage, but decided to move from his Tennessee base to Michigan in order to pursue his Olympic dream.
He will compete in the semi-final of the men's 50m freestyle tonight while Andrew Bree also swims later this evening in Indianapolis in the heats of the men's 200 breastroke.