Longford's Patrick Flanagan is 'really excited' about representing Team Ireland at the European Para Swimming Championships which take place at the Sport Ireland National Aquatic Centre this week, from Monday, August 13 - Sunday, August 19.
"The hype is building and we want to put on a show," explained Patrick in an interview with Pundit Arena. See tweet below for link to video interview.
Patrick says it is 'pretty special' that his first major international competition is at home and he praised the 'good set-up' at Longford Swimming Club nurtured his career.
20 year old Patrick is named in an eight person Irish squad and it also includes Rio Paralympics Bronze medal winner, Ellen Keane, Ailbhe Kelly, Barry McClements, Jonathan McGrath, Sean O’Riordan, James Scully and Nicole Turner.
He has been making a name for himself as a para swimmer since he was selected as the Swim Ireland Disability Swimmer of the year in 2012 at just 14 years of age.
Since then Patrick has begun to deliver on that early potential he displayed as he recorded several medal winning performances at the 2015 European Para Youth Games.
In a recent Irish Times article, Ellen Keane, gave the low down on her team colleagues ahead of the Allianz European Championships.
Here is what she had to say about Patrick: “Patrick Flanagan, or Padzer as I like to call him, is a Longford native who is living and studying in UCD. He is one of a handful of athletes in UCD’s Ad Astra programme which has made training for the Europeans and studying his economics and finance degree more manageable.
“Flanagan was born with spina bifida which means when not in the water he’s in his wheelchair. Although this makes stairs a major issue for him he says that skipping the queue and getting free into Coppers makes up for it (only on off-season of course).
“The European Championships will be his first major international competition for Ireland. He will compete in four events across the seven days in the S6 classification. His favourite event, the 100m backstroke, will take place on Thursday, August 16, while his best event, the 400m freestyle, is on Friday, August 17.
Although both Ailbhe Kelly and Flanagan compete in different classifications they will also be having a private battle between themselves as their best times are both very similar to each other. Call it healthy competition.
European Championships Team Ireland schedule
Day 1 (Monday, August 13)
James Scully – 200m Freestyle S5
Ailbhe Kelly – 200m Individual Medley SM8
Nicole Turner – 50m Freestyle S6
Day 2 (Tuesday, August 14)
Patrick Flanagan – 200m Individual Medley SM6
Nicole Turner – 200m Individual Medley SM6
Jonathan McGrath – 400m Freestyle S8
Ailbhe Kelly – 400m Freestyle S8
Seán O’Riordan – 100m Breaststroke SB13
Barry McClements – 100m Freestyle S9
Day 3 (Wednesday, August 15)
Seán O’Riordan – 200m Individual Medley SM13
Nicole Turner – 100m Breaststroke SB6
Barry McClements – 100m Butterfly S9
Ellen Keane – 100m Butterfly S9
Day 4 (Thursday, August 16)
Patrick Flanagan – 100m Backstroke S6
Nicole Turner – 100m Backstroke S6
Barry McClements – 100m Backstroke S9
Ellen Keane – 100m Backstroke S9
Jonathan McGrath – 100m Backstroke S8
Ailbhe Kelly – 100m Backstroke S8
Day 5 (Friday, August 17)
Seán O’Riordan – 100m Backstroke S13
James Scully – 50m Freestyle S5
Jonathan McGrath – 100m Freestyle S8
Ailbhe Kelly – 100m Freestyle S8
Patrick Flanagan – 400m Freestyle S6
Ellen Keane – 200m Individual Medley SM9
Day 6 (Saturday, August 18)
James Scully – 100m Freestyle S5
Nicole Turner – 50m Butterfly S6
Barry McClements – 400m Freestyle S9
Seán O’Riordan – 100m Freestyle S13
Day 7 (Sunday, August 19)
Ellen Keane – 100m Breaststroke SB8
Patrick Flanagan – 100m Freestyle S6
Seán O’Riordan – 50m Freestyle S13
We're three days away from the World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships. We will be profiling an Irish athlete each day until the opening ceremony.— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) August 10, 2018
Next up is Patrick Flanagan who will compete across four events in the S6 classification. #Dublin2018 @AllianzIreland pic.twitter.com/sygl7wornZ