Scroll for more

Athletes

Ryosuke
Irie
JapanJapan, JPN
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
24 January 1990
Height
179 cm
Residence
Tokyo, JPN
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, Japanese
Higher education
Law - Kindai University: Japan

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age four in Osaka, Japan.
Why this sport?
He followed his older brother Shinpei into the sport, but initially did not like swimming. His mother promised if he still did not enjoy it after a year she would ask the coach if he could quit. However, she forgot to honour her promise. "I only had negative feelings toward swimming. I really hated it, and wasn't very good at it either. I am what I am today because my mother didn't ask my coach to let me quit."
Club / Team
Itoman Toshin: Japan
Name of coach
Ishimatsu Masataka [club], JPN; Norimasa Hirai [national], JPN
Training Regime
He swims five to six kilometres a day, but reduces to three to four kilometres per day ahead of a competition.

International Debut

Year
2006
Competing for
Japan
Tournament
Pan Pacific Championships
Location
Victoria, BC, CAN

General Interest

Nicknames
Ryochan, Iriemon (TV Asahi, 05 Dec 2007; excite.co.jp, 05 Sep 2018)
Hobbies
Listening to music, going to concerts. (style.nikkei.com, 11 Mar 2019; Instagram profile, 04 Sep 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the men's 4x100m medley relay at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (tbsradio.jp, 04 Oct 2019)
Hero / Idol
Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima. (tv-tokyo.co.jp, 18 Oct 2018)
Injuries
In 2013 he suffered a hernia injury. (sportsnavi.yahoo.co.jp, 11 Apr 2014)

His training was disrupted ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London due to a shoulder injury. He went on to win one bronze and two silver medals at the Games. (sportiva.shueisha.co.jp, 10 Jun 2020)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Swimming has been part of my life since I was young, so I have never thought about my life without the sport." (tbsradio.jp, 04 Oct 2019)

"Never forget the feelings of gratitude." (Instagram profile, 27 Sep 2020)
Awards and honours
He received an Excellence Award at the Japan Aquatics Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018. (tobiuojapan.org, 30 Jan 2017; swim.or.jp, 22 Jan 2018, 29 Jan 2019)

In 2015 and 2017 he received the Osaka Sports Excellence Award in Japan. (pref.osaka.lg.jp, 16 Sep 2015, 19 Sep 2017)

He was named 2013 Swimmer of the Year by the Japan Swimming Federation. (asahi.com, 19 Mar 2014)
Ambitions
To win medals in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, men's 4x100m medley relay and mixed 4x100m medley relay at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. (yahoo.co.jp, 11 May 2019; tbsradio.jp, 04 Oct 2019)
Other information
BOOKS
In 2013 he released his autobiography 'Swim Towards a Dream: What I Learned From the Sport', and released a second autobiography entitled 'Still, I Keep Swimming' in 2020. (hmv.co.jp, Mar 2013; amazon.co.jp, Sep 2020)

TRAINING IN USA
In 2017 he relocated to San Diego, CA, United States of America, to join the Team Elite training group in order to prepare for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "I thought I was through competing in Japan. I'd been swimming all the time in Japan. But for the [2020] Tokyo Olympics, where I will be 30 years old, I made a big decision to train in a new environment by going to America. I felt that I was running into a brick wall [training in Japan]. But changing my environment has made me feel I can still compete [at the highest level]." (sportiva.shueisha.co.jp, 11 Aug 2018; style.nikkei.com, 11 Mar 2019; japantimes.co.jp, 18 Apr 2018)