The World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships get underway at the National Aquatic Centre on Monday 13th August.
Ireland will have eight athletes representing their country with pride at this event and in the build-up to this much-anticipated championship, we will be profiling each of the members of Team Ireland.
Next up is Patrick Flanagan who hails from Co. Longford. The 20-year-old is currently studying in UCD and he’s also in UCD’s Ad Astra programme. The upcoming European Championships will be his first major competition for Ireland.
Flanagan was born with spina bifida which has him confined to a wheelchair. He will compete across four events in the S6 classification. His best event, the 400m freestyle, will take place on Friday, August 17th while his favourite event, the 100m backstroke, will take place a day earlier.
Ahead of the European Championships next week, Flanagan spoke about the rather interesting support he is expecting from Sligo, the county he moved to after his time in Longford.
“As far as I know, there’s a bus full of people coming from Sligo and the way they’re talking, they want to dress up! So I have to explain that it’s a pool, not a pool party, so we’ll see how that goes!
“It’s huge, to see that pride, the pride they have in you, it makes me proud and it’s good because it’s a small enough village in Sligo so we’ll get most of the village up, we’ll be filling up the seats so you’ll be hearing them shouting away.”
You can watch our full interview with Flanagan below: