Event: Sailing, Laser radial
Who is she? Dubliner Annalise Murphy, 22, has sailing in her blood. Her mother Cathy MacAleavey represented Ireland at the 1988 Olympics in Pusan and gave Annalise her first taste of sailing at the age of six when she crewed her first boat.
She moved up to the laser radial craft in 2005 and has since proved her class at international level, finishing eighth at the 2009 World Championships and then going better again at the 2011 renewal in Perth where she finished sixth.
Currently ranked 11th in the world, she decided to take a study break from her science degree in UCD to concentrate full time on sailing.
Road to London: Murphy qualified for London with a breakout performance to finish sixth at the World Sailing Championships in Perth last November. A poor start cost her at this year’s Laser Radial World Championships where she finished down the field in a disapponting 25th, before she bounced back to win bronze at the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth last month.
What she says about herself: “”After this year I feel like I am a medal contender for the Games. 2011 has been a brilliant year for me: I’ve finished in the top ten at every World Cup – bar one where I was 11th – and sixth at the Olympic Test Event and now the worlds.” (RTÉ.ie, December 2011)
What they say about her: ‘We always knew Annalise had the potential, but she has even been surprised by the speed in which she has delivered on it.” (James O’Callaghan, ISA Performance Director)
Medal chances? Despite her young age, there is no doubting Murphy’s credentials at the elite international level. Provided she can keep the bad days — like this year’s Laser Radial Championships — to a minimum, Jimmy is backing her to outperform her current world ranking in London. It’s a big four…
If you meet her in a bar, ask her… about Lyza and Hazel, her two puppies.
On the Twitter: Follow her @Annalise_Murphy. If nothing else, you might pick up some tips on decent books to read.
If she was a YouTube video, she’d be… “Rock The Boat”, obviously — although with marginally more co-ordination than these NUIG students during their world record attempt.
YouTube credit: GalwayChannel