Murphy and Persson to Compete in 2007 Bangkok Universiade

Murphy and Persson to Compete in 2007 Bangkok Universiade

Jonas Persson

Tennessee swimmers Jonas Persson and Barry Murphy travel to Bangkok, Thailand, to compete in the 24th Universiade Aug. 8-18 with the swimming competition running Aug. 9-14.

"The World University Games are very important," Murphy said. "It will simulate the environment of Beijing 2008. The two meets have the same structure, in that it has a village, thousands of athletes and a lot of sports."

Murphy will compete in the 100 freestyle, the 50 freestyle, the 100 breastroke and possibly the 50 breastroke.

His teammate, Persson, looks to improve on his already stellar performance this summer. Just last week (July 25-29) at his homeland national competition, the Sweden native placed second in the 200 freestyle (1:51.80), second in the 100 freestyle (50.6) and first in the 800 freestyle relay (1:50.80 split).

"It's always fun to go home and swim," Persson said, "although the standards of the Swedish Nationals are getting worse every year. Competing for my country, however, is always an honor. So, I am looking forward to competing for Sweden and representing Tennessee at the World University Games."

Persson is slated to swim the 100 and 200 freestyle events in Bangkok.

Both swimmers look to push their individual performances for the sake of the Volunteers. Murphy hopes Tennessee will be recognized in Bangkok.

"Swimming well (at the World University Games), getting some personal-best times and getting an Olympic qualifying time are some individual goals I believe I could achieve," Murphy said. "And at the same time, by swimming well at this meet, I think it would show people around the world the quality of training and work we do at the University of Tennessee.

"With Octavio (Alesi) swimming well at Pan Ams, Jonas and I going to the World University Games and the other guys swimming well at nationals, that will show people that UT means business. Hopefully these types of performances can strengthen the program's recruiting."

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"Being qualified for the Olympics is a dream come true, and, at the same time, it gives me more strength and motivation to keep improving every time I jump in the water. I have wanted to achieve this for a long time, and it feels good that it finally happened. I certainly wouldn't have made it without the support of UT and our coaching staff, in whom I trust to continue their hard work. I hope their help will lead me to Beijing, where I might have a shot at the finals next summer."





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