Ireland's Shane Ryan made it through to the 50m Backstroke semi-final at the FINA World Swimming Championships in South Korea, but then withdrew from the event to concentrate on Sunday's 4x100m Medley Relay.
Ryan, who swam a season best 25.10 in the semi, made the decision to withdraw from 50m Backstroke, a non-Olympic event, so as to pre-validate himself for the 100m Backstroke in Tokyo and help his team to a potential Olympic berth in the relay.
He will lead the relay off and has a second chance at the FINA 'A' Olympic qualification time of 53.85 as part of the process.
Ryan, Darragh Greene, Brendan Hyland and Jordan Sloan will all combine in the hope of securing a top 12 place, which would guarantee a spot this time next year in Japan.
Speaking after the 50m Backstroke heat Ryan commented: "I’m ok with it, for the process I had going into it and not really preparing for it, because I’m scratching it so I can prepare for the Medley Relay. I have to sacrifice a little bit to get the other three guys there and also for myself in the 100m Backstroke. I’d rather be a two-time Olympian than a world finalist."
Also, in action today Conor Ferguson clocked 25.60 in the 50m Backstroke while Niamh Coyne completed her first World Championships in the same event in 32.12.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS— Swim Ireland (@swimireland) July 27, 2019
Great swim from @shaneryan001 in the 50Back to secure a SF place, he is withdrawing from tonight's SF though to concentrate on tomorrow's 4x100m Medley Relay
Listen: https://t.co/ugZYw609AB#FINAGwangju2019 #teamarenaIRL pic.twitter.com/ESe8QBxwD8