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*Brendan Hyland, Finn McGeever, Jack McMillan and Shane Ryan following the heat. 

Ballina’s Finn McGeever dove into the history books on Tuesday as part of Team Ireland’s first ever 4x200m freestyle relay quartet to compete in the Olympics and described it as the “coolest thing I’ve ever done”.

Ireland finished eighth in their heat and fifteenth overall on Tuesday afternoon (Irish time) with Great Britain, Australia and the United States taking the top three positions. They finished in a time of 7:14:58 which was 12:23 seconds adrift of the top three after starting strongly.

A past pupil of St Anne’s Community College in Killaloe, Finn was second into the water for Team Ireland. His teammate Jack McMillan was first and set a new Irish senior record at 200m clocking a time of 1:46:66.

Starting in Lane 8, McMillan had propelled the Irish quartet into fourth by the end of his opening 200m stint in a time of 1:46.66. McGeever followed for the second stint but slipped back to seventh by the halfway point of his swim, before Hyland kept the Irish quartet in the top seven during the third leg.

Ryan, who had withdrawn from the 100m backstroke last Friday due to injury, took to the water for the final stint but was overtaken by South Korea’s Hojoon Lee with 50m to go as the first Irish relay team to qualify for an Olympics finished eighth.

Now in his second year studying Maths and Physics at the University of Limerick, Finn had been part of the National Transition swimming squad in Limerick, reaching the European Junior Championships in 2018 in Helsinki, Sweden.

Speaking following the race, Finn reflected, “It was crazy, most insane race I’ve ever swam. I was so blown away by it. It’s massive, coolest thing I’ve ever done”.

Lahinch’s Paul Talty is leading the preparations of Team Ireland’s swimmers at the Tokyo Olympics.

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