2017 WUGs: Ryan Earns Ireland’s First Universiade Gold Since 1991


While competing at the 2017 Summer Universiade, Irishman Shane Ryan was already knocking on the door of a breakthrough swim when clocking a new national record last night in the men’s 50m backstroke, but the 23-year-old made history in Taipei tonight. Following up on his mark of 24.97 last night, which made Ryan the first Irish swimmer to ever go sub-25 in the 50m backstroke, the former Penn State stand out crushed an even faster time of 24.72 to take 50 backstroke gold by just .01 over American Justin Ress.

With his podium-topping performance tonight, Ryan became just the 2nd swimmer from Ireland to have won swimming gold at a World University Games. The last time the top prize was achieved by an Irish swimmer was when Gary O’Toole won the men’s 200m breaststroke way back in 1991 when the Games were held in Sheffield.

Ryan has been on a roll thus far in Taipei, having already been a part of one Irish national record in the form of his nation’s 7th place finishing 4x100m freestyle relay. He also earned a 4th place finish in the 100m backstroke.


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5 years ago

Fantastic swim! Thank you Loretta for the nice articles this week!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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