Shane Ryan has become Ireland’s second swimmer to reach the FINA ‘A’ Olympic Standard, making him eligible for nomination to the Olympic Council of Ireland for Olympic Games selection.
Training full time at the Swim Ireland NAC Performance Centre and living on the National Sports Campus, Ryan came agonisingly close in the heats of the 100m Backstroke at the Swim Ireland Dave McCullagh/Swim Ulster International in Bangor Co. Down on Saturday, clocking 54.37 just outside the 54.36 qualification mark required for the Games. A blistering Final however saw Ryan well under the time finishing first in 53.93 seconds.
A delighted Ryan commented “I got all the pieces of the puzzle together and it turned out great. I was in a good state of mind, I knew what I had to do, this morning it didn’t really feel too hot, I didn’t have a good start, a good turn or a good finish so .01, I knew I could do it, it was rough missing it but at the end of the day I got it! I need to have fun, I need to relax and that’s one thing I didn’t do in the past, I was always worried about getting the time instead of just swimming”
A former member of the USA swim team, Ryan qualifies to swim for Ireland through his father, Thomas, who is Irish and from Portarlington, Co Laois. The last swimming meet he competed in for the USA was in December 2013.