AER LINGUS Swim Club’s Barry Murphy has announced his retirement from international level swimming following a hugely impressive career, qualifying for the 2012 Olympic Games as well as medalling at European and World Cup level.
The 29-year-old described it as an “arduous decision” but feels that “after much deliberation and an extensive time to reflect, I am happy to announce my retirement from international level swimming. I feel it is the right time.
“Having competed at the Olympic Games in 2012, won a European bronze medal and World Cup bronze medal in 2013 and broken numerous Irish national swimming records I feel that it is time to move my attention to something new and hang up the Speedo and goggles.”
It follows an excellent campaign for the sprinter though the timing of his announcement might have been surprising with the build-up to the 2016 Olympics now well under way.
But Murphy said that his preferred events are not included on the Rio schedule, namely the 50m breaststroke and butterfly.
“The Olympic Games itself doesn’t really suit my strengths. I’ve always been a 50m swimmer, it’s been my forte. To swim the 100m breaststroke, it’s not my strongest event.
“I just felt I couldn’t conjure up the motivation to keep going for another two years.”
Nonetheless, Murphy said his career has been hugely enjoyable.
“To represent the country I love, in a sport I have loved since I was eight years old fills me with an incredible amount of pride. When I set out on this path as a young sports fanatic, I could only have dreamed of having the career I was able to have, achieving the accolades I was able to achieve and embracing the opportunities I was able to pursue.
“Along this journey I’ve been fortunate to come across characters and personalities that have shaped my career and life in incredibly positive ways.”
He paid tribute to those who influenced his early career along with his coaches and the Swim Ireland board who he said have “been instrumental in helping me achieve my most successful year to date.
“Their support and vision allowed me to craft my most successful year in 2013 and I thank them for welcoming me back into the HP program, and guiding fresh enterprises like campus accommodation at the NAC. Irish swimming is moving forward and with them at the helm, it will go from strength to strength.
“Most importantly, to my family, there are no words to describe how blessed and appreciative I am for the support you have given me. My journey was only made possible by your love and support, and I am forever indebted to you for allowing me to pursue my childhood dreams of being an international swimmer.”