December 19, 2020

Our teams have not let up in 2020. Led by national head coaches Ben Higson (swimming) and Damian Ball (diving), our aquatic stars have strengthened and refined, aiming to make 2021 explosive for Irish aquatics.

Here are 19 Irish swimmers and divers to follow in 2021, the year of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Irish Swimmers to Follow

Brendan Hyland

26 | National Centre (Dublin)

Brendan came agonisingly close to qualifying for the Tokyo Games in the 200m Butterfly at the World Championships in 2019 and needs to knock just. 07 off his Irish Record to get there. The 2019 Swim Ireland Performance Swimmer of the Year is the seven-time 100m and eight-time 200m Butterfly National Champion and we can’t see him letting that title up any time soon.

Calum Bain

23 | Stirling Swimming Club

A sprint specialist, Calum will be aiming to qualify for Tokyo in the 50m Freestyle. In March he posted a time of 22.29 at the Edinburgh International Meet and needs to take just .28 off that time to qualify.

Conor Ferguson

21 | Larne Swimming Club

A world and European junior medallist, Conor competes in the Backstroke events. He missed the Rio Games by just .05 of a second in the 100m Backstroke so will be more determined than ever to hit that time in 2021.

Danielle Hill

21 | Larne Swimming Club

Ireland’s fastest ever female swimmer Danielle Hill was all about smashing records just before we were hit with Covid-19. At the McCullagh International in February she set a new standard in the 100m Backstroke, leaving her just .65 shy of the FINA A time required for the Games.

Daniel Wiffen

19 | Loughborough University

Having recently moved to Loughborough University, Daniel set his first Senior Irish Long Course Record in the 1500m Freestyle at the Irish Winter Meet. Daniel has competed at European and World Junior level and his first senior meet was European Short Course Championships in 2019. He really signalled his rapid potential at the Irish Winter Meet and looks set for a great 2021.

Darragh Greene

25 | National Centre (Dublin)

Darragh is closer than any Irish swimmer to Tokyo 2021, having gone under the qualification time for 100m Breaststroke at the 2019 FINA World Championships in South Korea. After getting back to the water in June, he spent the autumn training in Hungry at the International Swimming League alongside breaststroke World Champion, Olympic Champion and World Record-Holder, Adam Peaty.

Ellen Keane

25 | NAC Swimming Club

The Rio 2016 Paralympic medallist has given us great insight into her journey over the past few months including some impressive time trial swims. Ellen will be aiming for her fourth consecutive Games in 2021.

Ellen Walshe

19 | Templeogue Swimming Club

Ellen became the first Irish swimmer to break the one-minute barrier in the 100m Butterfly in January, no doubt she would have lowered that record as the year went on, but 2021 is calling and we are excited to see what she can do.

Eoin Corby

18 | National Centre (Limerick)

The Irish Junior Record holder across all three Breaststroke events, Eoin is transitioning to senior ranks this year. Keep an eye on this up-and-coming talent who has great potential!

Jack McMillan

20 | Bangor Swimming Club

Ireland’s 400m Freestyle record holder, Jack was part of the 2019 World Championships team who helped the 4x200m Freestyle Relay team to a 16th place finish, the team are still within the Olympic qualification places.

Jordan Sloan

27 l Bangor Swimming Club

As a member of both the 4x200m Freestyle and 4x100m Medley Relays Jordan helped team Ireland to 14th and 16th place finishes at last year’s World Championships. Jordan is the current 200m Freestyle Irish Record holder and with a best time of 1.47.41 is just .4 away from securing an individual place in Tokyo.

Mona McSharry

20 | University of Tennessee (USA)

Having moved to the USA in August, Mona McSharry is already making waves with the Tennessee Vols. Ahead of that move, Mona picked up her first senior international medal at the European SC last December and has a best time in the 100m Breaststroke of 1:07.10, that’s just three hundredths of a second off Tokyo qualification.

Niamh Coyne

19 | National Centre (Dublin)

Having set her first Irish Senior Record in the 200m Breaststroke at the Irish SC Championships last December, it was looking like an exciting year for Niamh in 2020. We have no doubt that this young star has been training hard and will shine in 2021 though.

Nicholas Quinn

27 | Edinburgh University

Another Rio 2016 Olympian, Nicholas Quinn is based at Edinburgh University. He will be aiming to qualify for the Games in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke.

Nicole Turner

18 | NAC swimming Club

A European and World Medallist, Nicole will be hoping to qualify for her second Paralympic Games in 2021. Nicole made five finals with a best finish of 5th place at Rio 2016, can she make the podium in 2021?

Shane Ryan

26 | National Centre (Dublin)

The Rio 2016 Olympian has shown some great form in 2020 breaking 6 Irish Records (SC) as part of the Toronto Titans team at the International Swimming League. Shane has already been under the Olympic qualifying time for Tokyo and will be looking to repeat that performance at the Irish Open in April.

Irish Divers to Follow

Clare Cryan

27 | Sheffield Diving Club

Clare is aiming to be Ireland’s first ever female Diving representative at an Olympic Games in 2021. Clare competes in the 3M Springboard and it will be April when we see our four divers compete for those places at the Diving World Cup in Japan.

Oliver Dingley

28 | National Centre Dublin

Oliver is a Rio 2016 Finalist and was Ireland’s first diver at a Games in 68 years! He will be aiming for his second Games and will qualify with a top 18 finish at the World Cup in April. Fun Fact: Ollie has his own podcast ‘Life in a Bubble’.

Tanya Watson

18 | Southampton Diving Club

With Clare, Tanya is aiming to be one of Ireland’s first female representatives in Diving at an Olympic Games. Tanya’s speciality is Platform (10m), and she has started the season well with a second-place finish in the ‘Stay at Home International Diving Competition’ last week.

Find out more about our National Squad programmes at: Swim Ireland National Squads 2020-2021