Irish sailor Annalise Murphy qualifies for Rio 2016 Olympics

Annalise Murphy
Annalise Murphy ended just one place outside the medals in London

Irish sailor Annalise Murphy has qualified to represent Ireland in the Laser Radial Women's Single-handed event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Murphy, who narrowly missed out on a medal at London 2012, won her national nomination trials at the Laser Radial World Championships in Puerto Vallarta.

The inclusion of the Dublin woman in the team is set to be ratified by the board of the Irish Sailing Association.

Murphy saw off the challenge of Aoife Hopkins for the nomination.

While Murphy finished ahead of Hopkins in each of the three regattas in the trials, this week's event in Mexico saw the margin tighten to just four places.

However, the overall selection trials score was comfortably in Murphy's favour.

Attention will now switch 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.

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.

Murphy suffered heartbreak in London four years ago as she finished fourth as the youngest competitor in her event.

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