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London 2012: Introducing… Barry Murphy

With 30 days to go until the Olympics begin, we dive into the pool to begin our new series on Ireland’s medal hopefuls. Meet Barry Murphy.

Event: 100m breaststroke

Who is he? Ireland’s top male swimmer. The 26-year-old honed his raw talent at the University of Tennessee before moving to his current training base in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he now works alongside world-renowned coach Mike Bottom.

Irish record holder at 50m freestyle as well as 50m and 100m breaststroke, Murphy narrowly missed out on a place at the Beijing Olympics when he hit the “B” standard time but failed to get a wildcard spot.

Road to London: Murphy became one of the first swimmers anywhere in the world to qualify for London when he smashed his Irish record by .99 of a second to win gold at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in 1:00.77.

The time was inside the Olympic “A” standard, and although it was initially believed that it was too early in the year to count towards qualification, the Olympic Council of Ireland and Swim Ireland rubberstamped Murphy’s place on the plane.

What he says about himself: “Every goal I’ve set myself since [Beijing], I’ve trained with fire for it. I don’t take it for granted in any way when I make these teams now because I remember how hard it was to take when I didn’t get the nod for Beijing.” (Irish Times, July 2011)

What they’re saying on the internet: “If Barry can build on this performance [Indianapolis 2011] then we might have another exciting prospect in the pool come London 2012″ (Dan man, Boards.ie)

Medal chances? The men’s 100m breaststroke is incredibly competitive but Murphy can take heart from the fact that he beat four-time Olympic gold medallist and defending 100m champion Kosuke Kitajima in Indianapolis last year.

Qualifying for the final would be an excellent achievement in its own right. One Jimmy on our patented London 2012 scale…

If you meet him in a bar, ask him abouthis penchant for beetroot juice. I hope he’s getting some serious cash money to hawk this stuff.

On the Twitter: You’ll find him @Barry_J_Murphy. It’s mostly swimming chat but he’s fond of giving Cristiano Ronaldo the odd bit of stick as well.

If he was a YouTube video, he’d be… Tillman, the skateboarding dog — committed and capable of causing a shock.

YouTube Credit: rnickeymouse

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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