Barry Murphy’s attempts to emerge from the heats of the men’s 100 metres breaststroke ended in frustration on the first day of action in the pool at the European Swimming championships in Berlin.
The 28-year-old Dubliner could only manage third in his heat in a time of one minute 2.12 seconds which left him some way shy of making the top 16.
Murphy’s main swim is the 50 breaststroke, the heats of which are on Friday, but two years out from the Rio Olympics, that event still has to be ratified as part of the Olympic programme.
Thus Murphy has changed his focus to the 100, but with very little training for the two-lap swim in the last 12 months, the 2012 London Olympian produced a poor finish and was even beaten in his heat by his team-mate Nicholas Quinn
“It’s no secret that I’ve only started training for the 100 in the last year or so,” said Murphy
“Last year was a sabbatical from the event to concentrate on the 50 breaststroke. I think now that the break I had, coupled with completing my Masters, took its toll in the heats.
“This is the first championship meet in almost two years that I have done the 100 metres breaststroke so it’s about building from here and looking towards Rio 2016.
“It’s a season’s best time and it’s positive in that sense, but I have gone so much faster than that before and I would have like to have gone close to my Irish record. I had to start somewhere and it’s not a bad place to start”
Quinn and Dan Sweeney, who finished seventh in a heat that contained the three Irish breaststroke swimmers, will be happy enough with their personal best times in the 100 as their main event is the 200 breaststroke which takes place on Wednesday.
Tallaght's Brendan Hyland was seventh in his 50 fly heat and failed to progress to the semi-finals but his main event is the 200 fly and while not exactly enamoured with his time yesterday, his focus is elsewhere using the 50 fly heats as a build-up to his main event later on in this week long meet.
Hyland is back in action in the heats of the men’s 200 freestyle this morning at the Europa-Sportpark.
Ireland's two female swimmers, Sycerika McMahon and Fiona Doyle, will be in the water for the first time, as both will be in action in the heats of the women's 100 metres breaststroke
In last night’s finals Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who swam at the Irish Nationals in 2012, won the women’s 400 metres individual medley with a commanding swim to take gold in 4:31.03, a new championship record.