A young Longford swimmer has caught the eye of Olympic selectors with his current run of form, which has seen him break records and pick up several gold medals.
Sixteen-year-old Gerry Quinn, who is a son of Seamus Quinn and Patricia Honeyman, has impressed with his performances this year, and his family say his best is still to come.
“He is only really starting to up his training now,” his mother, Patricia, told the Longford Leader.
“He’s only just begun land training and gym work to improve his strength and conditioning.”
Over the past year, Gerry has collected an impressive haul of medals, and he has even had the opportunity to compete at international level, where his abilities have impressed.
“He won four golds at the Irish Championships, which were held at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin, and he won a gold, two silvers, and a bronze at the Canadian Championships,” Patricia revealed. “It’s been his best year to date.
“He also won two golds at the UK Schools Games. His coach, Ronan McNiven, said it was the first time an Irish swimmer achieved that.”
His father, Seamus, adds: “He set a new Junior and Senior Connaught record in the 100-metre freestyle about two weeks ago. That’s probably his best achivement of the year, and the race was recorded and can be viewed on Longford Swimming Club’s website.”
Maintaining the standards required to compete in these competitions requires dedication and Patricia highlighted just how much effort Gerry puts into his training.
“He trains Tuesday to Friday from 6.15am to 7.45am, and he also trains for an hour on Friday evenings,” she explained.
“On Saturday mornings we get up at 4.40am to take him to the pool in the Kingfisher Fitness Club at NUI Galway, where he trains for five hours, and he also trains on Sunday mornings for two hours. Monday is his only day off.”
Gerry’s results over the course of this year have brought him to the attention of selectors for the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo.
“Gerry automatically qualified for the Olympic Focus Squad with the times he achieved this summer,” Patricia continued.
“There are about 20 from all over the country in that squad.
“His next competition is the Short Course Nationals in Lisburn, and he’s hoping to qualify for the World Junior Championships in Singapore, and the European Junior Olympics in Baku, Azerbaijan.”