Wiffen, Ryan, Walshe & More Set For Irish Open Championships (Psych Sheets)


The 2023 Irish Open Championships kick off on Saturday, April 1st with the competition representing the primary opportunity for the nation’s swimmers to gain qualification for this summer’s World Championships.

Several of the entrants already got some tune-up racing in at the McCullagh International last month, while others will be kicking off their elite campaign with this 5-day meet.

Among them is 29-year-old Shane Ryan, the national record holder who made history by becoming Ireland’s first-ever World Championships medalist when he took 50m back bronze at the 2018 Short Course World Championships.

Ryan is entered in the 50m back, 100m back and 100m butterfly events for Dublin and ranks as the top-seeded swimmer in all 3 races. Ryan has been as quick as 53.73 in the 100m back to own a time under the World Aquatics ‘A’ cut for Fukuoka. However, the ‘A’ standard for the 1fly stands at 51.06 while Ryan hasn’t ever been under the 52-second threshold.

University of Tennessee swimmer Ellen Walshe is set to take on a packed schedule, including the 50m/100m fly, 100m breast, 200m/400m IM, 50m back.

Walshe may be taking a break from NCAA action, but the 21-year-old has indeed gotten quite a bit of racing under her belt thus far this year. She competed at the Lisbon International Meet, the aforementioned McCullagh International as well as the Edinburgh International.

Her season-best effort of 2:12.48 in the 200m IM puts her in a good position to once again dip under the World Aquatics ‘A’ cut of 2:12.98 at these Championships.

Finally, Daniel Wiffen has been on the rise the past 18 months but has really made a name for himself since breaking through as the first-ever Irish European Record holder. Wiffen ripped a super quick mark of 7:25.96 in the SCM 800 free at last December’s Irish Championships.

But the 21-year-old previously secured 1500m free silver at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, producing a swift Irish record of 14:51.79 in the process. Somewhat surprisingly the 1500m is left out of Wiffen’s schedule for Dublin, while the twin to Nathan Wiffen is entered in the 200m, 400m and 800m distances.

SwimSwam reached out to Wiffen for more insight into his lineup of events.

As a refresher, the competition will look a bit different than in years past as both Brendan Hyland and Jordan Sloan announced their retirement earlier this year while freestyle ace Jack McMillan has changed his affiliation to now represent Great Britain.

Key Entries

  • Calum Bain – 50m/100m free
  • Victoria Catterson – 100m/200m free
  • Eoin Corby – 50m/100m/200m breast, 200m IM
  • Niamh Coyne – 50m/100m/200m breast
  • Liam Custer – 200m/400m/800m/1500m free, 200m fly, 200m/400m IM
  • Tom Fannon – 50m/100m free
  • Conor Ferguson – 100m/200m back
  • Darragh Greene – 50m/100m/200m breast
  • Danielle Hill – 50m/100m free, 50m/100m/200m back
  • Molly Mayne – 100m fly, 100m/200m breast, 200m/400m IM
  • Mona McSharry – 50m/100m free, 50m/100m/200m breast, 50m fly
  • Shane Ryan – 50m/100m back, 100m fly
  • John Shortt – 50m/100m/200m back, 50m free
  • Ellen Walshe – 50m/100m fly, 100m breast, 200m/400m IM, 50m back
  • Daniel Wiffen – 200m/400m/800m free
  • Nathan Wiffen – 400m/800m/1500m free

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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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