Irish swimming’s high performance director Peter Banks, will send 14 swimmers to two long course (50 metre) meets in December.
No Irish swimmer made the standard at the recent World Swimming Championships in Shanghai, and Banks wants to give swimmers further opportunities to get under the Olympic-qualifying standard before Christmas.
To date only Dubliner Barry Murphy has achieved the Olympic standard , back in March in the 100m breaststroke (1:00.77)
As a result, instead of concentrating on the upcoming short course (25 metres) season, Banks will instead send a ten-strong squad to the Dutch Open in Eindhoven from 2-4 December.
The squad which will include European 1500 metres silver medallist Grainne Murphy, together with Nuala Murphy, Shani Stallard, Sycerika McMahon, Niamh O’Sullivan, Beth Carson, Karl Burdis, Claire Dawson, plus Beijing Olympians Melanie Nocher and Ashling Cooney.
Banks will also send four of his American-based swimmers in Barry Murphy, Andrew Bree, Fiona Doyle and Ryan Harrison to the US Winter Nationals at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Centre in Atlanta. The Winter Nationals take place over the weekend of 1-3 December.
Those who haven’t made Olympic qualification will have three further meets in which to make the required times: the Irish Olympic trials at the NAC in Dublin, which starts on 29 February next year and which backs onto British trials a week later, before the final qualifier, the European Long Course at Antwerp in Belgium at the end of May 2012.
Ireland also hope to have open water swimmer Chris Bryan in London. Bryan finished a creditable ninth at the recent 10km marathon test event, which was held at the London Olympic open water venue.