Andrew Bree claimed his place at the World Championships in Rome at the weekend with plenty to spare.
Bree, ranked 14th in the world after his 2:10.16 performance at the Beijing Olympics, only needed a 2:15 and duly delivered at the Bulldog Invitational meet in Athens, Georgia and also made the 100m breast in a time of 1 min 3 secs.
The Irish team heading to Rome is now a full dozen and Bree is excited about his prospects on the back of his performance in Beijing.
“It's great the way Irish swimming is at the moment. There are a lot of young swimmers coming through and breaking records,” said Bree.
“It's always good to have a big team because the atmosphere is so much better and this is going to be the biggest ever for a World championships. It's better for everyone, rather than just being there with only a couple.
“I'm feeling good about my swimming. I took a break after Beijing, I needed that but I have been working very hard and doing some good sets and I'm pleased with where I am at the moment.”
Bree, who was unable to compete at the recent Irish long course championships due to his training schedule, will be hoping to move on from his excellent performances in Beijing when he shaved three seconds off his personal best in the 200m breaststroke.
Fellow Ulster swimmers Melanie Nocher, Clare Dawson and Conor Leaney are also heading to Rome and Aisling Cooney is also on the team.