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Stunning pictures of honorary son of Laois Shane Ryan in Swim Ireland's Team Tokyo Olympics announcement

Portarlington descendant hoping to make a splash in Tokyo in the green of Ireland

Honorary Portarlington man Shane Ryan has been officially selected to swim for Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics.

Finalising its list of entrants for the Games, Swim Ireland said Shane Ryan, who trains at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin where he is coached by Ben Higson, will contest three events.

These are: 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly and the 4x200m Freestyle Relay.

Ryan has dual Irish and American citizenship. The now 27 year old was born in Pennsylvania to Tom and Beth. Tom hails from Portarlington in Co Laois where Shane still has plenty of family who have avidly followed his career.

Shane, his dad and some of his Laois relatives featured on the RTÉ series Horizon Tokyo. Episode one also featured medal hopes athlete Ciara Mageean and boxer Kelly Harrington. WATCH HERE

Shane competed for Ireland at the Rio Olympics.

Shane and the other Irish swimmers will be in action in the newly built Tokyo Aquatics Centre from Saturday 24 July – Sunday 1 August 2021.

Scroll through the special pictures above to see pictures of Shane taken for the announcement.

Swim Ireland says 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.

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.”


Darragh Greene

Danielle Hill

Brendan Hyland

Finn McGeever

Jack McMillan

Mona McSharry

Shane Ryan

Ellen Walshe

Daniel Wiffen

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.


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