Best known for her exploits in the 100m breaststroke, Mona McSharry is hoping to make a splash in the 200m event at the 2022 LEN European Aquatics Championships in Rome over the next 10 days.
The Sligo swimmer is part of a a 17-strong Irish team competing at the outdoor even in the Italian capital, with action set to get under way on Thursday.
McSharry, who will compete over 50m, 100m and 200m in the breaststroke discipline, will have an extra day to soak up the atmosphere and take in her surrounding before taking to the blocks on Friday in the 100m breaststroke heats.
"I'm buzzing now," the University of Tennessee competitor told RTÉ Sport.
"We're two days out from me racing, but racing does start tomorrow so I'm very excited to come watch everyone tomorrow and then just get pumped for my own races."
McSharry, who turns 22 on the final day of the European Championships, enjoyed a 2021 to remember. She became first Irish swimmer to make an Olympic final for 25 years when finishing eighth in the 100m final at the Tokyo Games and secured a bronze at the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi in the same event later in the year.
"It's been a busy year," she reflected. "It definitely was tough coming back off the Olympics so quickly and back into college and racing, but I think it's been a good year and I've done a lot of hard work.That's what I'm hoping will shine now in the next couple of days.
"I've been working a lot more on the 200m, actually. So I'm most excited about that race, just to see how it goes.
"Overall, I just want to race and enjoy it. With outdoors, times can be a bit all over the place, just because you tend to swim a little bit slower outdoors with the weather.
"But I think just getting your hands on the wall first is going to be the excitement of it."
McSharry made a triumphant return to her native Grange after the Olympics, but her homecoming was all too brief, with little time to contemplate her achievements.
"I got four days off coming home and then it was straight back in to classes," she explained. "I kind of just packed it up and put it behind me.
"But looking back on the memories a couple of weeks ago, and seeing that it was a year gone by, being able to relive some of that stuff was really nice and I have thought about it a little bit more recently.
"It was an amazing year, everything worked perfectly and I'm hoping that I can have more experiences like that.
"It's nice to see that I can do it on such a big stage and that it has happened. Anyone I'm racing against, I've already raced against."