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GLASGOW – Competing for Ireland, Penn State men’s swimming alum Shane Ryan earned a bronze medal in the 50-meter backstroke to highlight his experience at the 2018 European Aquatics Championships in the Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.
Ryan led Ireland’s most successful bid ever at the European Championships, winning the country’s lone medal of the meet and also advancing to the 100m back semifinals to place 15th (54.79) and helping the 4x100m freestyle relay team to a 12th-place finish (3:17.55).
Ryan swam the 50m back Saturday in 24.64 to earn bronze, following Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov who took gold with a world record time of 24.00 seconds. The medal was Ireland’s first in six years at a European Long Course Swimming Championship.
After the race, Ryan told reporters, “I’m really delighted, I executed the preparation a little bit better, the time wasn’t really there but that doesn’t really matter, you’ve got to bring hardware home to Ireland, that’s what really matters. I really just tried to nail the start, I knew that if I nailed that then I’d be in contention, I just tried to drive home and be consistent with the stroke and get my hand to the wall.”
Ryan also received public plaudits from Ireland’s president, Michael D. Higgins, who in a statement that was tweeted by his office said, “On a great day for Irish sport I also want to express my heartfelt congratulations to Shane Ryan on winning Bronze in the 50m backstroke at the European Championships today.”
Thursday, Ryan was a member of Ireland’s 400m medley relay team that appeared to have secured a finals berth and Irish Senior record at 3:36.36, but a takeover error disqualified the team.
Ryan, a native of Havertown, Pennsylvania, holds dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland. His father was born in Ireland and Ryan spent the 2015-16 academic year in Ireland to establish residency there and focus on training for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Ryan returned to Penn State for his senior year during 2016-17.
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