2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
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Another swimmer has dropped an event for these 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games which officially opened today, July 23rd.
27-year-old Shane Ryan has bowed out of the men’s 100m backstroke, his sole individual event for the Games. A semi-finalist in this event at the last edition of the Olympics in Rio, Ryan has been dealing with persistent shoulder pain which is exacerbated during his signature discipline.
Per Swim Ireland’s statement, ‘Ryan has been dealing with pain in his both of his shoulders for several weeks, ruling him out of competition at the Swim Ireland Performance Meet at the end of June, and this has been investigated and treated extensively in collaboration with the team of experts in the Sport Ireland Institute.’
Ryan himself stated,
“I am extremely disappointed and frustrated to no longer be swimming the 100m Backstroke at this Olympic Games, particularly as it is my main Olympic event.
“Unfortunately, this is a difficult decision that has to made in high performance sport at times and something that many athletes have to deal with at different stages of their athletic careers. Unfortunately for me, it is a decision that we’ve had to make at the biggest event.
“I’ve struggled with pain in both shoulders when swimming backstroke for quite some time now and I am so grateful that I have an amazing support team who have helped me through the whole process. Despite trying everything we could before the Games, there was nothing more we could do – and so we came to this difficult decision.
“However, I am excited that I will be walking out in five days’ time to compete as part of a historic moment in Irish swimming. For the first time in 49 years, Ireland has a relay at the Olympic Games.
“I know that the decision to compete in this event as planned is not only the right call for me, but also for my teammates Jack McMillan, Finn McGeever and Brendan Hyland. Despite this being the most challenging time in my athletic career to date, I’ve never been more driven to perform here and make Ireland proud of both me and this relay whilst we’re in Tokyo.”
National Performance Director Jon Rudd said: “Shane has made a very courageous decision here, one that we all respect and support.
“He will inevitably feel disappointment that he cannot swim the event in which his attentions have been primarily focused since 2016, but he will take some respite in still being able to swim in the relay, something he absolutely grabbed with both hands when named as part of the team.
“Racing with pain is never wise nor correct, and Shane has worked with numerous experts in their field in recent months to explore a number of interventions to help manage the situation. Unfortunately, these efforts have not given him an outcome that he or we hoped for in the time that we had.
“The support of the Sport Ireland Institute and their team of experts throughout this period has been extensive and welcomed – and Shane will of course live to fight another day in the stroke where he became Ireland’s first World Championship medallist in 2018.”
The men’s 4x200m free relay of which Ryan will be a part is set to take place on Tuesday, July 27th.