Congratulations to our swimmers who took part in the Gerry Ryan Invitational Gala in the University of Limerick. The event took place over two days, the 21st and 22nd of January, with nearly 1,000 young swimmers taking part each day. As this was an “invitation only” gala, with only the best swimmers from all over Ireland taking part, competition was stiff and with scouts from the Munster Development Squad and Swim Ireland silently pacing the poolside, keeping a close eye on the participants, the pressure was on. As always, Killarney swimmers were in fine form and took to the Olympic-size pool as if it was their natural home.
Under 9 Girls – Well done to Faye O’Neill who was simply superb in the pool and won a treasured gold medal in the 50 metres backstroke and followed that with a silver medal in the 100 metres freestyle. Certainly, a name for the future.
Under 10 Girls – Jocelyn Hickey was another lady in fine form in Limerick taking bronze in the 50 metres backstroke in the face of some very stiff competition in a difficult age group.
Under 12 Girls – Pia Hickey is always worth a bit of jewellery at galas and she sure didn’t let us down in Limerick winning a beautiful silver medal in the 50 metres backstroke to add to her collection.
Over 18 Boys – Without doubt the hardest category in Limerick with some of these young men silently harbouring hopes and dreams of Tokyo in 2020, our very own Robert O’Brien gave them all a sharp dose of reality by winning a silver medal in the incredibly difficult 400 metres Individual Medley and then took it a step further with a second silver in the 200 metres backstroke. Well done, Robert. A marvellous achievement, fully deserved, and while these medals might have caused a shock amongst some of the big clubs, they came as no surprise to anyone from Killarney.
Thanks to our coaches, Cathal O’Brien and Leontia Doody and assistant coach Shane Kerins for all their help and patience over the two days. Thanks also to all parents for travelling, dragging and transporting both children and supplies up and down to Limerick on both days.