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Ryan targets qualification for Rio
24 Aug 2015 18:06
US-born swimmer Shane Ryan may not be eligible to represent Ireland as yet, but the 21-year-old is preparing to ratchet up his campaign in the months ahead as he seeks to achieve a qualifying time for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
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Ryan, whose father hails from Portarlington, arrived in Ireland in May after deciding to represent Ireland but under FINA guidelines must wait a year before he can swim under the tricolour.
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Ahead of his first major assignment for Ireland at the European Championships in London next May, Ryan will target securing Olympic qualification at a number of meetings before the end of the year.
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Ryan’s main event is the 100m backstroke, where his personal best of 53.84 seconds is inside the Olympics A qualification standard and well ahead of the mark set by current national record holder Karl Burdis.
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The Havertown, Pennsylvania native is also slightly quicker than national record holder Ryan Harrison in the 100m freestyle, but just outside the Olympics A qualification time.
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A former member of the US swimming team, Ryan told RTÉ Sport: “I come from a big Irish family and they’re all over here. My dad’s the only one over in the United States, so making that decision was a bit easier for me - to come over, knowing that I’m going to be welcomed with open arms.”
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Based at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, Ryan added: “It’s a great opportunity and I’m going to take full advantage of it and do really well and represent Ireland the best I can.
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“I got the pool, I got the facilities, I’ve got the coaches. All I need to do is do my part and we’ll see where we’ll go from there.”
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