July 27, 2019

Shane Ryan qualified for the 50m Backstroke Semi-Final on the penultimate day of racing at the FINA World Swimming Championships in South Korea, with the 25-year-old withdrawing from tonight’s semi-final (where he had advanced in 11th place overall), to concentrate on tomorrow morning’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay.   

Ryan, who swam a season best 25.10 this morning, made the decision to withdraw from the 50m Backstroke semi-final, a non-Olympic event, and is taking the opportunity to endeavour to pre-validate himself for the 100m Backstroke in Tokyo and help his team to a potential Olympic berth in the Medley Relay. Ryan will lead the relay off and has a second chance at the FINA ‘A’ Olympic Qualification time of 53.85 as part of the process. Ryan, Darragh Greene, Brendan Hyland and Jordan Sloan will be combining for the relay in the hopes of securing a top 12 place, which would guarantee a spot for Ireland in the event at the 2020 Olympic Games.   

Speaking after the 50m Backstroke heat Ryan commented “I’m ok with it, for the process I had going into it and not really preparing for it, because I’m scratching it so I can prepare for the Medley Relay. I have to sacrifice a little bit to get the other three guys there and also for myself in the 100m Backstroke. I’d rather be a two time Olympian than a world finalist.”   

On the 100m Backstroke opportunity tomorrow he commented “I’m going to put everything I have into it and swim it the right way this time instead of what I did in the individual. I know the boys are really going to see that I’m trying to be the best that I can be”. 

Also, in action today Conor Ferguson clocked 25.60 in the 50m Backstroke while Niamh Coyne completed her first World 

FINA World Diving & Swimming Championships, 12th – 28th July 2019, Gwangju, South Korea

Result Friday 26th July

Men 50m Backstroke

Conor Ferguson



Shane Ryan


Women 50m Breaststroke

Niamh Coyne



Schedule Saturday 27th July (Heats 2am, Finals 12pm (Ireland))

Men 4x100m Medley Relay