Double Paralympians Darragh McDonald and Ellen Keane lead a six-strong Irish team to compete in the World Swimming Championships in Glasgow from July 13-19.
The team, which is supported by Allianz Ireland, includes previous Paralympians James Scully and Jonathan McGrath as well as newcomers Ailbhe Kelly and Nicole Turner.
Team Manager Hayley Burke sees these championships as vital preparation for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
“We’ve just returned from a really positive and productive ten day warm weather camp in Fuerteventura. All the team worked exceptionally hard fine tuning final preparations there and are in good shape now heading into the Championships.
“The world’s best swimmers will all be in Glasgow and there’s no better chance for our athletes to benchmark themselves against them. Should they swim to their potential we are hopeful of making the podium and seeing some lifetime best swims.”
Those who win gold or silver in Glasgow will automatically qualify for Rio 2016. For the others the highest possible finish is paramount as the remaining places are allocated based on world rankings in 2016.
The Irish team have a history of success on both the World and European stages.
Darragh McDonald is an Olympic gold medallist from London 2012 who also won gold in the 400m freestyle S6 gold at the 2013 World Championships. He is currently ranked 4th in the world for the same event.
Ellen Keane won 2 bronze medals at the 2013 World Championships and is currently ranked 3rd in the world for the 100m breaststroke SB8.
James Scully claimed two European bronze medals last year in the 100m and 200m freestyle S5.
The team will be hoping for similar success in Glasgow where they will complete against some of the best swimmers in the world.
The Irish team is proudly sponsored byAllianz; an official sponsor of Paralympics Ireland.