Murphy on road to Rio

by Gazette Reporter

RATHFARNHAM’S Annalise Murphy had her place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games confirmed this week at the conclusion of the Laser Radial World Championships in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
She had here place confirmed having won her national nomination trials ahead of Howth’s rising star Aoife Hopkins.
Pending ratification by the board of the Irish Sailing Association, the London 2012 athlete representing the National Yacht Club will be nominated to the Olympic Council of Ireland for inclusion in the Irish team for Rio 2016.
Having previously qualified Ireland for the women’s Single-handed event at Rio 2016, Murphy’s sole challenger for the place was Aoife Hopkins from Howth who is an ISA Academy sailor.
While Murphy finished ahead of Hopkins in each of the three regattas in the trials, Mexico saw the margin tighten to just four places in that event.
However, the overall selection trials score was comfortably in Murphy’s favour.
“Congratulations to Annalise for winning the trials that confirm her as the best Laser Radial sailor in Ireland,” said James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director.
“Aoife also sailed a great contest and she is clearly a prospect for 2020.”
Attention now switches to preparation for the Rio venue that will be very different for Murphy in contrast to the more familiar and breezy waters of Weymouth used in London 2012. At those last Games, Murphy agonisingly missed out on a medal and her form in the three years after since those Games suggest she will be very much a key contender.
She has dipped a little below her elite standards in recent time as the world championships saw the past European Champion finish third in the silver fleet with work needed to regain her more usual top 10 results from other pre-Olympic regattas.
The conclusion of the Laser Radial trials means three of the four Irish qualified sailing disciplines for Rio have now been decided.
The men’s single-handed event in the laser standard rig will have the final trials event at the World Championships next month, also in Mexico.
London 2012 veteran James Espey from Ballyholme YC holds a narrow lead over ISA development sailor Finn Lynch from the National YC. Baltimore’s Fionn Lyden is also a contender.
In the 49er skiff event, Ryan Seaton with Matt McGovern and 49erFX sailors Andrea Brewster with Saskia Tidey await ratification by the board of the ISA to be nominated to the OCI for inclusion in the national team for Brazil.

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