Ballina's McGeever confirmed for Olympic Games
Team Ireland Names Largest Swim Team for Tokyo 2020
Team Ireland has officially selected the Swimming team who will compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer with Ballina's Finn McGeever among the nine swimmers are set to compete across fourteen events.
It means it is the largest swim team that Ireland has ever fielded in an Olympic Games. The swimmers will be in action in the newly built Tokyo Aquatics Centre from Saturday 24 July – Sunday 1 August.
The strength and depth of Irish swimming has been on display over the past number of years, culminating this year with the ultimate qualification of six swimmers who have achieved the FINA A time across their events, with many more coming agonisingly close to the required standard to compete for Team Ireland in Tokyo 2020.
Swimmers were faced with the first opportunity to achieve the standard in 2019, when Darragh Greene qualified in the 100m Breaststroke at the World Championships, the remaining five swimmers Rio Olympian Shane Ryan, Mona McSharry, Daniel Wiffen, Danielle Hill and Ellen Walshe showed their class by coming into form just in time for the Games, recording personal bests and FINA A times at the Tokyo Trials and Swim Ireland Performance Meet in April and June.
The Team Ireland Olympic quota spot in the Men’s 4 X 200m Freestyle Relay was confirmed following the close of rankings in June, which is where Finn McGeever will compete.
Speaking about selection ahead of his first Olympic Games, Greene said,
“The Olympics have been something that I have dreamt about for a long time, and it is a real honour to be officially selected to compete for Team Ireland in Tokyo. It has taken a lot of work to get to here, and to be surrounded by a strong team of swimmers makes it all the more special. The standard of racing in Ireland is so high across the board, and it’s great to be finally saying that we are going to Tokyo!”
Team Ireland Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020, Tricia Heberle said,
“The past few weeks have seen the numbers of qualified swimmers double, which has been very exciting. They are going into the Games with the biggest team ever, and it’s especially encouraging seeing the number of FINA A standard swimmers qualifying. The past year has been tough for everyone, but seeing how our swimmers handled that first lockdown, coming out of it producing personal bests and national records, in challenging circumstances has been a true test of resilience."
Jon Rudd, National Performance Director and Team Leader for the Games said,
“This has been the longest ever Olympic cycle and qualification period that the sport has faced. To have nine swimmers amongst an eleven member aquatics team for the Games is an excellent outcome for our sport and all those involved. A double Trials and a protracted relay appeal meant that many of our athletes have not known until very recently whether they would or could be selected to this team, an uncertainty that has been difficult for everyone, especially those who narrowly missed out. The standard of swimming in Ireland is growing, and without all these athletes striving for improvement, we would not be where we are today, fielding the largest ever swim team for Ireland.”
TEAM IRELAND SWIMMERS:
Team Ireland now consists of 88 officially selected athletes, with over 110 athlete spots confirmed across nineteen sports. There are four final team announcements to come over the coming days, the official closing date for registering athletes was 4pm on Monday 5 July 2021. The Olympic Games in Tokyo will run from the 23rd July to 8th August 2021.