Rio 2016: Shane Ryan plays his part on historic night in the pool

First ever Irish swimmer to reach a 100m backstroke semi-final finishes eighth

Shane Ryan finished eighth in this 100m backstroke semi-final. Photograph: Inpho

Shane Ryan finished eighth in this 100m backstroke semi-final. Photograph: Inpho

 

Another night of record-breaking history inside the Olympic pool, and for Shane Ryan, being a part of it all was a worthy enough achievement it itself.

The American born swimmer, representing Ireland in his first Olympics, had already made a little bit of history himself in becoming the country’s first representative in a 100m backstroke semi-final final, although in the end he had to be content with an eighth place in 54.40 seconds - outside the Irish record he had set in qualifying earlier in the day, having become eligible to set Irish records in May of this year.

In a race won by the American Ryan Murphy in 52.49 seconds, Ryan kept pace until the first turn, swimming in lane one, only to lose some ground over the last 50m: earlier in the day he’d swam 53.85 seconds, to progress as 12th best of the top-16 semi-finalists.

Second Captains

Ireland’s last semi-finalist in swimming at the Olympic Games was Andrew Bree in Beijing in 2008, when he made the 200m breaststroke semi-final.

A night of finals featured two simply stunning world records - the British swimmer Adam Peaty winning their first gold medal in Rio with a superb world record finish of 57.13 in the men’s 100m breaststroke.

That was followed just minutes later, in the women’s 400m freestyle, when the American Katie Ledecky essentially had the world record chasing her, as she set a ferocious tempo to win in 3:56.46, over two seconds off the world record, with Jazz Carlin of Britain 4.77 seconds back when winning the silver medal.

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