5 July 2024

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Tom Fannon Among Aquatics Team Officially Selected for Team Ireland at Paris 2024

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Tom Fannon Among Aquatics Team Officially Selected for Team Ireland at Paris 2024

Laser Swimming Club’s Tom Fannon has been named on the Ireland aquatics team for the Olympic Games in Paris, competing in the men’s 50m freestyle.

The 26-year-old from Torquay is a former European Junior champion and declared for Ireland three years ago thanks to this Galway-born grandfather.

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The Olympic Federation of Ireland has officially selected the full aquatics team who will compete at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Twelve swimmers have been named, including three relay teams. Over the weekend it was good news also for diver Ciara McGing who confirmed her allocation spot in the Women’s 10m Platform. She will now join previously selected Jake Passmore on the diving team.

The swimming will be held in Paris La Défense Arena from the 27 July to 4 August. The venue regularly hosts performances from leading international artists, and during the Olympic Games it will play host to some of the most anticipated competitions on the Olympic programme, enjoyed by spectators lining out the 13km of stands.

Diving takes place in the newly built Aquatics Centre, and McGing’s competition runs from the 5 – 6 August.

Team Ireland’s Daniel Wiffen is one of Ireland’s most exciting swimmer, and is heading to the Games as a reigning World Champion in the Men’s 800m Freestyle and the 1500m Freestyle. Speaking ahead of the Games, Wiffen said,

I’m just finished a great block of training now, and am looking forward to the final taper before travelling out with the team. It’s especially exciting to be going to Paris with such a big team – all the work has been done and we are ready to get out there and perform to our best.”  

Olympic Federation of Ireland Chef de Mission for Paris 2024, Gavin Noble said,

“To have twelve swimmers and two divers qualified for the Games is a great feat for Swim Ireland. I’m delighted for the athletes and the team behind them. I’m especially excited for the athletes who will be experiencing the Olympic Games for the first time, the experience in Paris La Defense Arena will be spectacular. We wish the team well and are looking forward to supporting them.”

Jon Rudd, Performance Director with Swim Ireland, and Team Leader for the aquatics section of Team Ireland, said,

The largest team and the most competitive team ever, says it all. These athletes have been progressing, gaining confidence and delivering in key moments ever since we said farewell to Tokyo. We have numerous athletes here that sit amongst the very best in their events on a worldwide basis and there isn’t a swimming or a diving day that anyone can afford to miss.

“Our individual event athletes are all high performers in the truest sense and our three relays are at full strength. It’s a real pleasure to be able to name twelve swimmers to this team and to also add Ciara to the diving team alongside Jake.

“There’s talent, ambition and dedication across all of those that will be on the plane with us and we have an excellent team of staff to support them through the Holding Camp which starts on the 16th July, through to the competition days themselves. We know that the island of Ireland will all be behind us – and that spurs us on even more”.

This brings to ninety-two the official number of athletes who have so far been selected to represent Team Ireland at Paris 2024, a Games that will see us celebrate our centenary competing as a nation at the Olympic Games. The team announcements for each sport will follow over the coming weeks, with the final team announcement scheduled for the second week of July. The Olympic Games in Paris will run from the 24th July to the 11th August 2024, with the Opening Ceremony taking place on the 26th July.

TEAM IRELAND AQUATICS TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT:

Swimming

Victoria Catterson (National Centre, Dublin), Female 400m, Freestyle Relay, 400m Medley Relay (*)

Grace Davison (Ards SC), Female 400m Freestyle Relay, 400m Medley Relay (*)

Tom Fannon (National Centre, Dublin), Male 50m Freestyle

Conor Ferguson (Loughborough University), Male 400m Medley Relay

Darragh Greene (National Centre, Dublin), Male 400m Medley Relay

Danielle Hill (Larne SC), Female 100m Backstroke, 50m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle Relay, 400m Medley Relay

Max McCusker (Millfield School, England), Male 400m Medley Relay

Mona McSharry (University of Tennessee), Female 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke, 400m Medley Relay

Erin Riordan (National Centre, Dublin), Female 400m Freestyle Relay, 400m Medley Relay (*)

Shane Ryan (National Centre, Dublin), Male 400m Medley Relay

Ellen Walshe (Templeogue SC), Female 100m Butterfly, 200m IM, 400m IM & 400m Medley Relay

Daniel Wiffen (Loughborough University), Male 800m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle & Open Water 10km

(*) – TBC following Female 400m Freestyle Relay

Diving

Ciara McGing (Ohio State University) Female 10m Platform

Jake Passmore (City of Leeds) Male 3m Springboard.

 

Support Staff

 

Pool Swimming

Team Leader – Jon Rudd

Coach – Steven Beckerleg

Coach – John Szaranek

Team Manager – Fiona Burke

Physical Preparation & SSM Lead – Paul Talty

Performance Analysis – Kevin McGuigan

Physiotherapist – Robbie Smyth

Marathon Swimming

Team Leader – Jon Rudd

Coach – Jonathan Preston

Physiotherapist – Robbie Smyth

Diving

Team Leader – Damian Ball

Coach – Marc Holdsworth

Physiotherapist – Sport Ireland Institute

BIOs:

Swimmers:

Daniel Wiffen
Age: 23 (DOB 14/07/2001)
Events: Male 800m Freestyle, 1500m Freestyle and Marathon Swimming/Open Water 10km
Event Lifetime Bests: 800m 7:39.19 (European Record 2023), 1500m 14:34.07 (2024)
Hometown: Magheralin, Co Down
Home Coaching Programme: Loughborough University, England
Home Programme Coach: Andi Manley
Irish Club: Larne SC
Daniel and his twin brother Nathan started swimming locally with Lurgan SC before moving to Lisburn SC for their age group swimming year. However, it is since moving to Loughborough University, where he studies IT & Business, that he has become a distance superstar. On his Olympic debut in Tokyo, he set new Irish records of 7:51.65 and 15:07.69 in these events, finishing 14th & 20th respectively. His first major medal was a Commonwealth silver in 1500m Freestyle in 2022 and a year later he was fourth in both the 800m and 1500m at the World Aquatics Championships, with a new European record in the 800m. In 2023, he won three gold medals at the European Aquatics Short Course Championships where his 7:20.46 in the 800m Freestyle smashed Grant Hackett’s world record from 2008. In February 2024 he not only became the first Irish swimmer to medal at a World Aquatics Championships (50m) but also became a double world champion in the 800m & 1500m as part of this. Daniel is also looking to make further history as Ireland’s first Olympian in the Open Water/Marathon 10km swimming event in week two of the Paris Games.  

Tom Fannon
Age: 26 (DOB 20/05/1998)
Event: Male 50m Freestyle
Event Lifetime Bests: 21:94 (2024)
Hometown: Torquay, England
Home Coaching Programme: National Centre (Dublin), Ireland
Home Programme Coach: Steven Beckerleg
Irish Club: Laser SC, Galway
Tom is a former European Junior Champion and also represented England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games before declaring for Ireland, thanks to his Galway-born grandfather. He moved to Dublin to train with National Centre (Dublin) in 2021. His 50m Freestyle time of 21.95 at the Irish Open Championships in 2023 smashed Barry Murphy’s Irish Senior Record (22:14) from 2009 and made him the first Irish swimmer to dip under the 22 second barrier. Tom was a European semi-finalist last year and, at the Olympic Trials in May, took a further 0.01 off the Irish record (21.94), to secure his Olympic debutant place, before matching this time again most recently at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome during June.

Danielle Hill
Age: 24 (DOB 27/09/1999)
Event: Female 50m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke, 400m Freestyle Relay & 400m Medley Relay
Event Lifetime Bests: 50m Freestyle 24.68 (2024), 100m Backstroke 59:11 (2024)
Hometown: Newtownabbey, Co Antrim
Home Coaching Programme: Larne SC
Home Programme Coach: Peter Hill (No Relation)
Ireland’s fastest ever female made her Olympic debut in Tokyo, finishing 25th in the 100m Backstroke (1:00.86) and 33rd in the 50m Freestyle (25:70). Since then, she has progressed tremendously to become a Commonwealth Games finalist in 2018 before capturing gold at this year’s European Aquatic Championships 50m Backstroke (non-Olympic event). This was Irelands’ first European title in a 50m pool since 1997, with Danielle also claiming silver in 100m Backstroke at the same meet. Danielle was the first Irishwoman to break the minute barrier in the 100m Backstroke, demolishing her own Irish record with 59:11 at the Irish Olympic Trials in May, where her new Irish record of 24.68 also ensured the 50m Freestyle qualification for Paris. Danielle has completed a Sport and Exercise Science Degree at UUJ  and is now training full time and coaching at Larne SC.

Mona McSharry
Age: 23 (DOB 21/08/2000)
Event: Female 100m Breaststroke, 200m Breaststroke and 400m Medley Relay
Event Lifetime Bests: 1:05.55 (2023) and 2:22.49 (2024)
Hometown: Grange, Co Sligo
Home Coaching Programme: University of Tennessee, USA
Home Programme Coach: Matt Kredich
Irish Club: Marlins SC, Ballyshannon
At the Tokyo Games, Mona became the second Irishwoman in history to make an Olympic swimming final, finishing eighth in the 100m Breaststroke (1:06.94) with a top-20 spot in the 200m version (2:25.08) also achieved. Prior to this in 2017, Mona was a World Junior Champion in the 100m Breaststroke and a European Junior Champion at 50m & 100m Breaststroke, before claiming a senior European short-course bronze medal (50m Breaststroke) in 2019. She was also a World Championships (25m) bronze medallist in 2021. After a difficult 2022, Mona bounced back in 2023, making three finals at the World Aquatics Championships (50m) in Fukuoka and then narrowly missing a medal at the same event in 2024 in Doha. She was to claim a golden hat-trick at the European Aquatics U23 Championships in Dublin and in June this year, she was to add a second event in Paris as she smashed her own Irish 200m record by over two seconds, recording 2:22.49 at the Mel Zajac International in Vancouver. Mona qualified from the University of Tennessee in May with a Degree in Kinesiology.

Ellen Walshe
Age: 22 (DOB 29/09/2001)
Event: Female 100m Butterfly, 200m IM, 400m IM & 400m Medley Relay
Event Lifetime Bests: 57:96 (2023), 2:10.92 (2023), 4:37.18 (2024)
Hometown: Templeogue, Co Dublin
Home Coaching Programme: Templeogue SC, Ireland
Home Programme Coach: Brian Sweeney
Ellen was only 19 when she made her Olympic debut in Tokyo, finishing 19th in the 200m IM (2:13.34) and 24th in the 100m Butterfly (59:35).Ellen won a 100m butterfly silver at the 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival and gold in 200m Butterfly at the 2017 World School Games, followed by two golds and a silver at the European U23 Championships (200/400m IM and 100m Butterfly respectively). Ellen has also picked up a silver medal at the World SC Championships in 2021 and a bronze at the European SC Championships in 2023 – both in the 400m IM. She was the first Irish swimmer to qualify for Paris at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka where her new Irish 200m IM record of 2:10.92 placed her ninth. She qualified for the 400m IM with an impressive 4:38.05 at the Irish Olympic Trials in May but smashed that two weeks later with 4:37.18 in a stacked race at the Sette Colli Trophy in Italy.

Victoria Catterson
Age: 23 (DOB 25/03/2001)
Event: Female 400m Freestyle Relay & 400m Medley Relay (TBC)
Hometown: Belfast, Co Antrim
Home Coaching Programme: National Centre (Dublin), Ireland
Home Programme Coach: Steven Beckerleg
Irish Club: Ards SC, Newtonards
The Irish 200m Freestyle Record holder was part of the Female 400m Medley relay whose National Record of 4:01.25 at the 2023 World Championships in Japan qualified them for the Games and earned Ireland’s first women’s Olympic relay slot since 1972. After completing an accountancy course in mid-2023 she moved from Belfast to National Centre (Dublin) to train there fulltime.

Grace Davison
Age: 16 (DOB 26/08/2007)
Event: Female 400m Freestyle Relay & 400m Medley Relay (TBC)
Hometown: Bangor, Co. Down
Home Coaching Programme: Ards SC, Ireland
Home Programme Coach: Curtis Coulter
Grace has been constantly lowering the Irish Junior 100m Freestyle Record in the past 12 months, taking it down to 55.44 at the Irish Olympic Trials in May. Grace won 400m IM Gold and 200m IM Silver at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games and is the youngest member of the swimming team. Grace’s final preparation for Paris will be via the European Aquatics Junior Championships in Lithuania in July.

Erin Riordan
Age: 24 (DOB 02/09/1999)
Event: Female 400m Freestyle Relay & 400m Medley Relay (TBC)
Hometown: Whitegate, Co Clare
Home Coaching Programme: National Centre (Dublin), Ireland
Home Programme Coach: Steven Beckerleg
Irish Club: NAC SC, Dublin
Erin was part of the Female 400m Freestyle relay team (with Davison, Catterson and Maria Godden) who finished with a Top-10 position at this year’s World Aquatics Championships in Doha. She has a biomedical degree from UCD and a Master’s Degree in Science from DCU.

Conor Ferguson
Age: 24 (DOB 11/10/1999)
Event: Male 400m Medley Relay
Hometown: Belfast, Co Antrim
Home Coaching Programme: Loughborough University, England
Home Programme Coach: Ian Hulme
Irish Club: Larne SC
Conor narrowly missed Olympic qualification in the 100m Backstroke for Rio by a mere 0.05 of a second at only 16 years of age. He is now based in Loughborough University, swimming under the 54-second mark for the first time at this year’s World Championships in February, lowering this again to 53:87 at Olympics Trials in May. Conor is a multiple medallist at Junior level in the 100m backstroke including EYOF silver (2015), European silver (2016) and World silver (2017). He also won silver in the 50m backstroke at the 2017 European Juniors

Darragh Greene
Age: 28 (DOB 20/10/1995)
Event: Male 400m Medley Relay
Hometown: Newtownforbes, Co Longford
Home Coaching Programme: National Centre (Dublin), Ireland
Home Programme Coach: Steven Beckerleg
Irish Club: Longford SC
Darragh made his Olympic debut in Tokyo, competing in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke events. He holds the Irish 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke Senior Records and was seventh in the European Aquatics Championships (50m) 100m Final this summer.

Max McCusker
Age: 24 (DOB 11/09/1999)
Event: Male 400m Medley Relay
Hometown: Glastonbury, England
Home Coaching Programme: Millfield School, England
Home Programme Coach: Ryan Livingstone
Irish Club: Dolphin SC, Cork
Max equalled and then broke the Irish Senior 100m Butterfly record at the World Aquatics (50m) Championships in February, swimming 52:52 to earn a swim off for a semi-final spot, swimming a new Irish record 52:31 within that race. He was to later smash that record again with 51:90 at the Irish Olympic Trials in May, placing himself comfortably into the position as Ireland’s leading male sprint butterfly swimmer.

Shane Ryan
Age: (DOB)
Event: Male 400m Medley Relay
Hometown: Portarlington, Co Laois
Home Coaching Programme: National Centre (Dublin), Ireland
Home Programme Coach: Steven Beckerleg
Irish Club: NAC SC, Dublin
Shane is Irish swimming’s first male three-time Olympian, commencing his Olympic career with a semi-finalist position in the 100m Backstroke in Rio 2016., He has won four international 50m Backstroke (non-Olympic event) medals since 2017, being World University Games Champion in 2017 and a bronze medallist at the 2018 World Championships (25m), the 2018 European Championships (50m) and the 2019 European Championships (25m). Shane went on to become a semi-finalist at the 2017 World Championships (50m) and competed for the Toronto Titans in the 2021 International Swimming League. He is the Irish Senior Record holder in the 50m & 100m Backstroke and the 50m & 100m Freestyle, with both the Freestyle Records set recently in 2024.

4 July 2024; Swimmer Tom Fannon during the Team Ireland Paris 2024 team announcement for Aquatics at the National Aquatic Centre on the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

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