Monday 19 March 2018

Ireland's Shane Ryan into semi-final of 100m backstroke after outstanding swim in Rio

Shane Ryan of Ireland Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Shane Ryan of Ireland Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick in Rio

American born Shane Ryan not alone fulfilled his ambition to swim for Ireland at the Olympic Games but has qualified for the semi-finals of the 100m backstroke.

Ryan broke into a broad smile when informed by journalists in the mixed zone that he had progressed. The semi-final takes place at midnight local time (4am Irish time)

Drawn in heat three Ryan, who has been living in a small house in the far corner of the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown for the last year, set a new Irish record of 53.01 to finish 14th fastest overall.

He has second at the 50m mark and although he faded to fourth in the end his time was sufficient to see him through as the top sixteen qualified for the semi-final.

“I'm in bonus territory now,” said Ryan who revealed that he had an eventful day even before the competition as there were fears that the tent where he was having breakfast would blow over due to the high winds in Rio today.

But there was no joy for Fiona Doyle, however, who finished 8th and last in heat five of the breaststroke and 20th overall which wasn't sufficient to secure her a place in the next round. A distraught Doyle said he was very disappointed with her swim.

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