Shane Ryan Heads Up 5-Strong Irish Roster For Hangzhou

Swim Ireland has named its 5-strong roster for the 2018 Short Course World Championships set for Hangzhou, China. Lead by National Head Coach Ben Higson, the following swimmers will be representing the nation this December:

Name – Program – Coach

Niamh Coyne – National Centre (Dublin) – Ben Higson
Conor Ferguson
– National Centre (Dublin) – Ben Higson
Darragh Greene
– National Centre (Dublin) – Ben Higson
Brendan Hyland
– National Centre (Dublin) – Ben Higson
Shane Ryan
– Virginia Tech – Sergio Lopez

All 5 of the swimmers in the line-up are Irish National Record holders, with Shane Ryan setting the 50m backstroke national mark of 24.32 in the semi-finals of the 2018 European Championships. He ultimately won bronze in Glasgow, registering a time of 24.64.

Earlier this year, Ryan became the first-ever Irish swimmer to clock a 100m freestyle time under the 49-second barrier. The former Penn State standout punched 48.68 at the Irish National Championships last April to take the title.

Teammates Brendan Hyland and Darragh Greene also notched new national standards at the 2018 European Championships, with the former notching 1:57.38 in the 200m fly and the latter nailing a 59.92 100m breaststroke. For Greene, his outing represented the first performance from an Irish swimmer to ever to clear the minute barrier.

Conor Ferguson also holds a national record with the 1:58.80 200m back he notched back in 2017, while sole female Niamh Coyne was a member of Ireland’s record-setting 4 x 100m medley relay this past summer at Gymnasiade.

Ireland came away medal-less at the 2016 edition of the Short Course World Championships, but will look to this small contingency to get on the board 3 months from now.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
12 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

I get the dual citizenship thing, I do, but I don’t like when an athlete knowingly selects a weaker nation just to make World or Olympic teams. No doubt he is a tremendous swimmer and nothing changes that. I would like to see him compete for the nation he spent the majority of his life in. Not identical scenarios, but same goes for Condorelli.


So, whats your take on a D-I caliber athlete electing to go to a D-III program because, they feel it better suits their training/lifestyle needs and will allow them to reach their full potential?


I think your comparing oranges and apples. To me, it’s like someone attending Stanford as a student and wanting to swim at a school like Pitt (both excellent programs, but one is clearly better). Represent the country you feel you belong to, that’s all I’m saying. If he feels that Ireland represents his political and cultural values and plans to reside there, more power to him. If he swims for Ireland just to make teams, to me, that is different.


“I think your comparing oranges and apples.” but then you say- “Represent the country you feel you belong to, that’s all I’m saying.” Quite the contradiction, considering the point of my initial question. Shane, or any athlete in this situation, could argue that because they are receiving support financially and athletically within the country they chose, that they feel that they now “belong” to said country. You’re subjective stance falls short because it is primarily based on your disregard of a high level athlete with a dual citizenship taking advantage of their circumstances, enabling them to follow their dreams, in what could be a more manageable path. You can label it “easier” all you want, but it’s their right, and… Read more »


There is no right or wrong answer here. I feel what he does is wrong and clearly you do not, and that’s ok.


I am not familiar with When or how he chose to switch citizenship… However if he tried to make a USA team but failed to do so… and shortly switched after…. Therefore costing an American the chance to potentially represent the US in finals then I 100% don’t support him.

Represent the country that you have ties with… However don’t try and have your cake and eat it too while screwing other people over.

This has happened a few times in the past couple years.


He is ranked 8th in the world, and in touching distance of the medals. Why should the 8th best man in the world sit at home because he lives in the USA when he has the right to represent another nation?

The bottom line is really that he is entitled to represent any country in which he qualifies for citizenship.


Hey, let’s make America Great Again!

Not that it matters, but are you acutely aware of his background growing up and his ties to Ireland? I am not, but would think that sort of knowledge is important before getting your panties in a bunch.

Either way, I didn’t qualify for the olympics for the USA, and I also never lost any sleep over people possessing citizenship in another country, and choosing that path to live out their dreams.

But hey, maybe he cheated himself into Irish citizenship years in advance of his international swimming success to cheat the system. Forward thinking indeed Mr Ryan…

You all can read some of the background on Shane’s switch to representing Ireland in this article. There’s also a link to another article within this one.


Has Mr Ryan graduated from PSU? Just curious. On the topic of representing any nation, if the rules allow it GREAT! If people don’t like it perhaps see if it can be changed.


If U.S. swimming can’t figure out a good qualification process for World Championships, I highly doubt they will address this issue


The US? What’re they going to do, appeal to strip him of his citizenship? Who he swims for has nothing to do with USA Swimming’s organization. He put in a few years as a US swimmer, then followed FINA’s current channels to switch to Ireland. It doesn’t hurt literally anyone.


Yes he graduated


I believe after 6 yrs?

It’s Cool to be Kind

SUNY Cal Wrong. Actually after a total of 4 1/2 he Graduated. He HAD to spend a year & a half living in Ireland to fulfill the Proof of Citizenship requirement. Not too many Athletes can have their Education interrupted, move away from his family & friends, under tremendious pressure; then come back to compete in a D1 program and go right back to completing his Degree.


Program should say “Virginia Tech” and not “Virginia”

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!