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Shane Ryan backstrokes his way into a swimming semi-final for Ireland

However, there was disappointment for Fiona Doyle.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

AMERICAN-REARED IRISH swimmer Shane Ryan put in an impressive display in his 100m backstroke heat at the Olympic Games today to deliver a semi-final place for Ireland.

Ryan, whose father hails from Portarlington, was excellent over the first 50 metres, trailing only China’s Jiayu Xu at the turn.

The 22-year-old finished fourth in an Irish record time of 53.85, leaving him 14th overall to secure Ireland’s first Olympic swimming semi-final since Andrew Bree’s 200m breaststroke performance in 2008.

With France’s Camille Lacourt setting the pace (52.96), Ryan’s semi-final will get under way after 3am tonight.

Fiona Doyle Source: James Crombie/INPHO

In the preceding set of heats, there was disappointment for Limerick woman Fiona Doyle in the 100m breaststoke. The Calgary-based swimmer finished eighth and last in her heat as controversial Russian Yulia Efimova claimed first.

Doyle will compete again this week, when she lines up for the 200m breaststroke on Wednesday.

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