Team Ireland gearing up for Paralympic swimming championships in Glasgow

Team Ireland gearing up for Paralympic swimming championships in Glasgow

IRELAND has announced its six-strong team that will compete at the Paralympic Swimming (IPC) World Championships in Glasgow in a fortnight.

The event, which takes place on July 13-19 at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre, is a key milestone in the swimmers’ quest to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Four previous Paralympians and two newcomers make up the team, which is sponsored by Allianz.

The squad boasts London 2012 gold medallist Darragh McDonald who previously competed in Beijing 2008.

Teammate Ellen Keane is also a double Paralympian and the pair are joined by fellow London Paralympians James Scully and Jonathan McGrath.

Teenagers Ailbhe Kelly and Nicole Turner will make their World Championship debut.

Team manager Hayley Burke said: “The world’s best swimmers will all be in Glasgow and there’s no better chance for our athletes to benchmark themselves against them. Should they swim to their potential we are hopeful of making the podium and seeing some lifetime best swims.”

Automatic qualification for Rio 2016 will be awarded to swimmers who claim gold and silver in their events.

The remaining places will be allocated on the basis of world rankings in 2016, therefore it is important for the swimmers to seal the highest possible finish.

Over 580 athletes from nearly 70 countries will compete at the Championships in Glasgow.