Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Ellen Keane is set to join Ireland’s Para Swimming Team at a later stage in Madeira, Portugal to take part in the World Championships from 12 to 18 June.
Keane is currently recovering from COVID-19 and has been working remotely with Team Ireland coaching and medical staff to ensure that she has overcome the virus and is fit and safe to join up with her team mates after she has returned consecutive negative tests.
The other four members of Team Ireland (Nicole Turner, Barry McClements, Roisin Ni Riain and Amy Sheridan) travelled to Fuerteventura, Spain on Tuesday (31 May) before transferring to Madeira in Portugal where they will compete in this year’s Worlds at the Penteada Swimming Pool Complex.
Paralympic silver medallist Turner will be making her return to major international competition at Madeira 2022 and will be joined by fellow Paralympians McClements and Ni Riain who will hope to build on their debut Paralympic Games as they continue their development at the World Championships.
There will also be a major championships debut for young talent, Amy Sheridan who will be making her first appearance for Team Ireland. And has been given the additional honour of being the flag bearer for Team Ireland at the opening ceremony.
Speaking about Ellen Keane, Para Swimming Performance Director Dave Malone said:
“We have been working with Ellen using what we have learned over the past few years to help mitigate the impact of the virus on her preparation for the competition. Ellen will now continue her preparation whilst in isolation and will join with the rest of the team when it is safe to do so. Our medical team are providing the best possible advice and we are hoping that Ellen will be able to get into the pool and put in her best possible performances.”
Tokyo 2020 gold medallist in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB8, Keane has made headlines in her country this year as the first person with a disability to take part in the TV show Dancing With The Stars and making it to the final four.
On the announcement of Team Ireland, Malone added: “We are very much looking forward to competing at the World Championships. Our swimmers are excited to get back into the pool and begin their journey towards Paris 2024. I am particularly happy to see Amy Sheridan make her first appearance as a member of Team Ireland and begin what will be a long career as part of the team.”