Barry and Grainne Murphy reached their respective finals in Budapest as Ireland’s fantastic European Swimming Championships continued, writes John Kenny in Budapest.

Wexford’s Grainne Murphy took 18 seconds off the Irish record in the heats of the 1500 metres Freestyle to qualify for Saturday’s final, her third of the week.

Dubliner Barry Murphy, got through his semi-final of the Men’s 50 metres breaststroke to make the final, taking second place in 27.60seconds and sixth fastest overall.

Grainne Murphy, who just missed out on the bronze in the 800 metres earlier in the week, claimed victory in heat one in the 1500metres in 16.10.32 which placed the 17-year-old as the fastest qualifier into tomorrow’s decider.

Barry Murphy was 14th overall after the heats of the 50-metre breaststroke after swimming a time of 28.02 seconds
He said afterwards that he tightened up in the last few metres.

However, Murphy cut out the mistakes in the semi-final and despite starting in the outside lane, the 22-year-old finished second in a time of 27.60, more than enough to make the top eight.

Grainne Murphy’s time of 16.10.32 seconds places the 17-year-old Wexford girl as the fastest qualifier by two and a half second and six seconds quicker than Denmark’s Lotte Friis, winner of the 800 title yesterday.

The 1500 is a bit of an unknown quantity as many of the open water swimmers take part and is also not an Olympic event for women.

Murphy could well be in with a chance of a medal and if Friis is suffering after her 800 win yesterday, Murphy could well be in contention to take the gold in Saturday’s final.

Melanie Nocher who swam a seasons best 200 freestyle heats, also praised her fellow attitude which she said was infectious and had spread throughout the small squad in Budapest.

‘She is young and has had a brilliant meet,’ said Nocher.

‘She is an amazing swimmer.

'I mean I’m learning from her and she is 17.

'From my point of view I was getting too nervous about my swims and what I get from Grainne is about enjoying the experience and not thinking a bad swim is the end of the world’

Claire Dawson was Ireland’s other competitor today, but she was visibly upset not to make the last 16 of the women’s 200 Freestyle