Irish Speedsters Ready To Rumble In Dublin At Nationals


Ireland’s biggest event is set to kick-off on Wednesday, as over 400 swimmers from 68 clubs will be descending upon the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin to vie for qualification times for this year’s most elite competitions. The 5-day championships will serve as the only opportunity for Irish swimmers to post consideration times for World Championships, World Junior Championships, World University Games, European Junior Championships, as well as the European Youth Olympic Games.

These Irish Open Swimming Championships also represent just one of two opportunities for Para swimmers to log qualification marks for the Para World Championships.

Here are just a few of the swimmers we’ll be watching this week:

  • Shane Ryan, 50 fly/100 free/100 back – Ryan made history last year by becoming Ireland’s first-ever World Championships medalist. Ryan earned bronze in the men’s 50m backstroke in Hangzhou while setting a new National Record in the process. At those same Short Course World Championships, Ryan clocked a new Irish NR in the 100 freestyle, registering 46.93 for 13th place overall. At the 2018 Irish Open Championships, Ryan became the first Irishman ever to clock a long course 100 freestyle time under the 49-second threshold with his NR mark of 48.68.
  • Brendan Hyland, 50/100/200 fly, 100/200 free, 200 IM – Synonymous with Irish butterfly, Hyland has been making strides in his specialty event over the last year. He first clocked a new National Record in the 100m fly sprint at the 2018 edition of these Irish Open Championships, producing a time of 52.62. Then at the 2018 European Championships, Hyland finished 10th overall in a new NR 200m fly time of 1:57.38. In Hangzhou last December, Hyland fired off new Irish marks in both events, finishing 20th in the 100m fly (51.54) and 10th in the 200m fly (1:53.19).
  • Darragh Greene50/100/200 breast – Greene fell painstakingly shotr of the European Championships final last year, losing a swim-off for the final slot in the men’s 100m breast. He produced 59.92 in the semi-finals, then 1:00.44 to be rendered a reserve. That sub-1:00 time was monumental, however, as it made Green the first Irish man ever under that significant barrier in the men’s 100m breast.
  • Conor Ferguson, 50/100/200 back – Finishing 24th in the men’s 100m backstroke in Hangzhou, Ferguson notched a new Irish NR of 52.04.
  • Niamh Coyne, 50/100/200 breast & Eoin Corby50/100/200 breast, 200/400 IM – For her part, Coyne blasted onto the intentional swimming scene with a silver medal in the women’s 100m breast at last year’s Youth Olympic Games. Most recently, Corby has done damage across the Irish Junior Record board, smashing all 3 breaststroke events while competing at February’s McCullagh International Meet.

Speaking ahead of the event Swim Ireland National Performance Director Jon Rudd commented “This will be a very exciting five days for all of us, with so many international places up for grabs across five different National Teams. The Irish swimming community readily embraced our first ever sole Trials in 2018 and for those who qualify for the World Championships in Korea, they will find that they have their first opportunity at that time to put a firm foot in the door for one of the coveted 2020 Olympic Games slots”

Nation Head Coach Ben Higson added “The momentum generated within Irish swimming over the past 12 months has given Irish athletes the ideal opportunity to showcase themselves in front of a home crowd this week. The Irish Open acts as a sole opportunity to qualify for this summer’s International teams and with Tokyo only 18-months away it is the ideal opportunity to fine tune and rehearse race process”.

Swim Ireland has confirmed that Mona McSharry will not be competing this week due to illness.

Quotes courtesy of Swim Ireland.

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Lisa Fedigan
3 years ago

I have no problem with a swimmer wanting to swim for the country that their parents are from and contributing to that cause.
My main issue is that our current Director of Swimming is actively contacting young swimmers in England and Scotland that, whilst they have Irish parentage, have never even been to Ireland or class themselves as Irish. This way he has more qualifiers/maybe medals at international competitions that his predecessors and it looks good on his CV.

These swimmers are english or scottish and for 51 weeks of the year they swim for their english/scottish clubs. Some have been interviewed by Irish Clubs over Skype!! They are taking spots on Irish squads for international meets that should… Read more »

3 years ago

Everyone is Irish now joke

Adam Mulvihill
Reply to  Water
3 years ago

I’m curious, who do you have an issue with out of all the swimmers mentioned? Other than Shane Ryan (who’s family is from Portarlington Co. Laois, Ireland), all the other swimmers have been born in Ireland and have come through Irish clubs and into the national pathway…

Reply to  Adam Mulvihill
3 years ago

What I have a problem with .is people that hasn’t lived in Ireland born in Ireland that get the best of support opportunity coaching private schools .they don’t make it in the country of their birth because they aren’t in the top 3 or 5 yet have swam for america . know they wont be good enough or picked change their nationally. Get a A time well done .but stop an Irish kid from going to the Olympics on a B time . I feel it would of been better of all irish kids to see well its possible instead we have an America born Shane Ryan with a father from Ireland .and rudd is running around the world looking… Read more »

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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