DAVID Murphy is aiming to make waves and secure a place in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, writes JAMES ROBERTS.

The City of Oxford teenager is ranked third in the country in the 100m breaststroke, with the top two in contention to qualify for April’s competition in Australia.

Ranked No 1 is Olympic champion and world record-holder Adam Peaty, who is already guaranteed a seat on the plane to Queensland.

The odds are stacked against Murphy, but the 18-year-old is aiming high despite his inexperience.

He said: “I would like to say in a year’s time that I went to the Commonwealth Games, I made a final and I got that great experience.

“It’s a fairly outside chance that I make it because I’m up against guys who are five or six years older than me.

“But there’s always a chance and if the season carries on the way it has been going, it is realistic.”

Murphy showed his potential at the Manchester International last month, finishing just two seconds behind Peaty.

The teenager appears comfortable at the top level, revealing that spending time around athletes of the Olympian’s calibre has been invaluable.

He said: “We talk about European qualification, Commonwealth qualification, how training is going, that sort of thing.

“When you talk to the big guys you realise they’re just normal peo-


“I think it’s a really good thing that I’m able to have this kind of dialogue with the older swimmers – in this case the Olympic champion.”

Murphy is likely to compete against Peaty again at next month’s National Winter Championships in Sheffield, which could decide whether or not he goes Down


If he finishes in the top two and manages to shave off one second, the games would be in sight.

But with British swimming in rude health, Murphy realises this is easier said than done.

He said: “Selection times are incredibly hard, because breaststroke in Britain is more competitive than any other country in the world at the moment.

“The 100m breaststroke final at the British Championships is as competitive as an Olympic final – you’ve got four or five people doing Olympic final times just for one country.

“It’s a highly competitive field, but that’s a good thing – it helps raise your standards.”

If he continues to improve at his current rate, Murphy could soon be part of the elite.

Failing to qualify for the Commonwealths would be far from a disaster, but the ambitious 18-year-old refuses to play down expectations.

He said: “I’ve been continuously moving my way up over the last ten months to the point where I am now.

“Everything I’ve done recently I didn’t think I could do, so who’s to say I can’t do this as well.”

CITY of Oxford swimmer David Murphy admits his success in the pool has taken him by surprise.

The rising star is ranked third in the country in the 100m breaststroke and is aiming to qualify for April’s Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia.

But the 18-year-old, who finished his A-Levels in July, revealed he had not considered full-time swimming until a matter of months ago.

He said: “Realistically I never thought I could push it that little bit further than nationals until the beginning of last season.

“Everything I did from last September was set for me ready to go to uni.

“But midway through year 13 I realised that I still don’t know what I want to do – the only thing I knew I wanted to carry on was swimming.”

Murphy, from Upton, has made huge strides since winning two bronze medals at the European Junior Championships in July 2016 – his first international competition.

A good performance at next month’s National Winter Championships in Sheffield could seal his seat on the plane to Queensland.

And the teenager believes that his two bronzes last summer were the catalyst for an extraordinary 18 months.

He said: “Once I reached the European juniors I thought ‘I’ve set myself a goal and I’ve reached it, I want to set myself another one now’ and I’ve been carrying on since then.

“I know what I want to do, I know how to do it – I’ve got a plan.”