The 2015 Fina World Championships begins in the Russian republic of Tatarstan today and Chris Bryan will be the first of the Irish in action when he competes in the men’s 10K open water swim on Monday.
The Clare man is one of four Irish swimmers in action over the next fortnight with Fiona Doyle, Sycerika McMahon and Alex Murphy taking to the temporary pool located on the pitch at a Kazan Arena. Big things are expected of Doyle after the bronze and silver medals she won at the World University Games in South Korea.
More important was her success in Asia when clinching an ‘A’ standard qualifying time for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio and Swim Ireland National Performance Director Peter Banks is hopeful it will allow the Limerick woman to concentrate on making a final.
Doyle came close to making the last eight in the 50m and 100m Breaststroke at the Worlds in Barcelona two years ago.
“That is the next stage in her swimming and it is a goal for her at the Olympics,” said Banks, “so this will be a good test to see how close she can get to that point.”
The hope for McMahon, who competed at the London Games three years ago, is that she can transfer training form into competitive form, something which hasn’t happened for the Texas A&M scholarship student of late.
Murphy’s focus will be on building championship experience. The Oxford-born UCD swimmer became eligible to represent Ireland through his Irish parents this year and will look to transfer his encouraging form and focus from 50m breaststroke - which is not on the Olympic roster - to the 100m.
The pool programme will not begin until tomorrow week, leaving the first week to the divers, synchronised swimmers, water polo players and open water advocates - such as Bryan - who will also have the 25K this day week. Just recently turned 25, Ennis club man Bryan finished eighth in the World 5K back in 2011 and still has ample time to make a bigger mark in his chosen sphere given open water swimmers have been known to prosper well into their late-20s.
Irish swimmers at the 2015 Fina World Championships:
Chris Bryan: 10K Open Water (today); 25K Open Water (Aug 1); Fiona Doyle: 100m Breaststroke (Aug 3); 200m Breaststroke (Aug 6); 50m Breaststroke (Aug 8); Sycerika McMahon: (200m Indiv Medley (Aug 2); 200m Freestyle (Aug 4); 50m Breaststroke (Aug 8); Alex Murphy: 100m Breaststroke (Aug 2); 50m Breaststroke (Aug 4).
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