Mona McSharry is in a confident mood as she looks to secure her place at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
McSharry will take part in the Irish National Team Trials at the National Aquatic Centre next week in what amounts to a qualifier for the Irish Olympic team.
The 20-year-old is within touching distance of meeting the qualifying standard for the Tokyo Games and is confident that she can secure her seat on the plane at the trials.
"I am nine milliseconds off the time at the moment, so very close," she told RTÉ Sport's John Kenny. "I feel like I haven’t really focused, since going to America, on long course as much and I’m kind of excited to switch back and just go for it. That’s the plan.
"At the moment I’m just focusing on qualifying, there’s no need to focus on whether the Olympic games is going to happen yet because I’m not going yet.
"It’s such a crazy year with Covid and I got really good at just letting everything just happen. You know, control the controllables and let everything else go, that’s what I’m working on."
Unlike most of her rivals for a place in the Irish Olympic team, McSharry is based abroad, combining her swimming career with her studies at the University of Tennessee.
The first-year student has already made an major impact on the American collegiate scene, winning a bronze medal at the prestigious 2021 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship, and breaking college records along the way.
McSharry has opted to go down the American college system instead of staying in Ireland and joining the high performance unit and as she explained, it’s something she had been keen on doing for a long time
"I think I just wanted a change of scenery from Ireland," she said. "I knew from a young age that I wanted to go to America for college and experience the collegiate level of racing because it's not really like that anywhere else in the world.
"I’m so glad that I did because it brings me back to racing for a team instead of yourself. That’s something that I really enjoyed this year because I’ve been so set on just qualifying for the Olympics and focusing on times.
"It was nice to focus less on time and just on winning a race and being competitive, which is what I’ve worked on really well this year, and being able to swim with 40 other girls who are somewhat better than me in some cases and I’m pushing them in other cases.
"It made me work a lot harder in training I think as well so, all in all, it was a really good choice and I’m glad I’ve made it.
"Above anything else, you’re only going to compete well if you’re happy."