Wednesday 26 June 2019

Cryan aim to make historic splash in Tokyo

Clare Cryan pictured at the announcement of Tesco Ireland's two-year sporting sponsorship of Swim Ireland. Photo: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Clare Cryan pictured at the announcement of Tesco Ireland's two-year sporting sponsorship of Swim Ireland. Photo: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Considering Clare Cryan couldn't swim properly when she was first approached about taking up diving, she has certainly come a long way.

Growing up in Sheffield, like any young sports-mad child, Cryan played everything before she narrowed her focus to football, gymnastics and diving, which eventually won out.

Cryan was nine when she was head-hunted to take up diving and since then she has never looked back, even it if was an unexpected path to take.

"It was actually really weird," she recalls. "Coaches from the local club came and did some talent testing when I was in Junior School.

"They invited me back to the sports centre and we did some more trampolining and gymnastic-type stuff.

"They said, 'Yeah, we like the look of you, do you want to join the diving club?' I was like, 'Yeah, that's exciting but I can't really swim.'

"I could only doggy paddle. I loved going to the swimming pool but I didn't like deep water because I couldn't really swim.

Diving

"But I just loved diving and once I had my first go in the pool, I just wanted to keep going back."

Although she was born in England, Cryan represents her adopted country via her grandparents who hail from the West of Ireland.

"My dad's parents are from Ireland," she explains.

"My grandpa was Sligo and my grandma was Roscommon. I still have family here. They live on the farm and all on the west side."

Cryan, whose main event is the three-metre springboard, is based in Dublin where she lives on the national sports campus. It helps that it is just a short walk to the aquatics centre and living with other Irish athletes also helps keeps the focus.

The 25-year-old will head to Edinburgh next week for what will be her final event before the pressure cranks up for the World Championships, which will take place in Korea in July.

The World Championships hold extra significance as it is the first opportunity for athletes like Cryan to qualify for next year's Olympics. If she were to make it to Tokyo, Cryan would become the first female Irish diver to represent the country at the Olympics, which is a huge motivation.

"You know it's there and it is unavoidable, but there is so much to do between then and now," she adds.

"It would be so cool to be in the records as the first female Irish diver at the Olympics. It can a bit a bit overwhelming because if I speak about it a lot, I get butterflies already."

Clare Cryan was speaking at the launch of Tesco Ireland's sporting title partnership with Swim Ireland

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