Ryan Napoleon

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Ryan Napoleon
Personal information
Nationality  Australia
Born (1990-05-26) 26 May 1990 (age 24)
Sydney, New South Wales
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lb)
Sport Swimming
Stroke(s) Freestyle, butterfly
Club St. Peters Western Swim Club

Ryan Napoleon (born 26 May 1990) is an Australian freestyle swimmer and Commonwealth Games medalist.


Youth Swimming[edit]

Napoleon won gold in the 4×200 m freestyle, silver in the 4×100 m medley relay and bronze in the 100 m butterfly whilst representing Australia at the Youth Olympic Festival.

At the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India, Napoleon won gold in the 200 m freestyle, 4×100 m freestyle, 4×200 m freestyle, 4×100 m medley relays as well as silver in the 100 m freestyle.

During the 2008 Oceania Swimming Championships held in Christchurch, New Zealand, Napoleon won gold in the 4×200 m relay and bronze in the 200 m butterfly.

Napoleon won the national 1500 m title and so became the sixth fastest Australian of all time at the 2009 Australian Swimming Championships.

2009 World Championships[edit]

At the 2009 World Championships Napoleon placed 11th in the 1500m freestyle, 12 in the 800m freestyle and 21st in the 400m freestyle.

2009 World Championships events
Event Time Place
400m freestyle 3:47.98 21st
800m freestyle 7:53.92 12th
1500m freestyle 15:09.55 11th

2010 Telstra Australian Swimming Championships[edit]

At the 2010 Australian Championships Napoleon won silver medals in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events.

2010 Pan Pacific Championships & Commonwealth Games[edit]

Napoleon placed 9th in the 1500m and was ranked 6th in the 400m freestyle at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.
At the 2010 Commonwealth Games Napoleon won silver in the 400m freestyle in a time of 3.48.59, and gold as part of the 4x200m freestyle relay team.

2010 Commonwealth Games events
Final medal count: 2 (1 gold, 1 silver, 0 bronze)
Event Time Place
400m freestyle 3:48.59 Silver
1500m freestyle 15:28.70 6th
4×200m freestyle relay 7:10.29 Gold

2011 Trials & Australian Swimming Championships[edit]

At the 2011 Australian Swimming Championships, he won the 400 freestyle in a time of 3:45.16, making him the 4th fastest Australian swimmer of all time, behind Olympic Champions Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Kieran Perkins

2011 Australian Swimming Championships events
Final medal count: 3 (2 gold, 0 silver, 1 bronze)
Event Time Place
200m freestyle 1:47.68 Bronze
400m freestyle 3:45.16 Gold
800m freestyle relay 7:55.20 Gold

2011 World Championships[edit]

In what could be described as an unlucky meet for Napoleon, he finished in 13th place for both the men's 400 and 800m freestyle.

2012 Olympic Trials & Australian Swimming Championships[edit]

Napoleon secured his place in his maiden Olympic team when he received 2nd place in the men's 400m freestyle at the 2012 Australian Swimming Championships. In both the heat and semifinals of this event, Napoleon was to race against Australian swimming champion, Ian Thorpe who was making a comeback to swimming via this event. Despite both races receiving a high degree of media attention, Napoleon did not let this unnerve him. He swam impressively in his heat to become the top qualifier and later placed first in his semifinal race. To further cement Napoleon's Olympic dream, he placed 5th in perhaps what is the most competitive of the men's events, the 200m freestyle. This earned him a spot in the men's 4x200m Relay Team for London 2012.

2012 Australian Swimming Championships events
Final medal count: 1 (0 gold, 1 silver, 0 bronze)
Event Time Place
200m freestyle 1:47.66 5th
400m freestyle 3:47.93 Silver

Doping Ban[edit]

After Napoleon qualified to contest in the 400m and 1500m freestyle at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, swimming governing body FINA imposed a three month doping ban on the swimmer due to results of a failed drug test taken in November 2009.[1] Although FINA accepted an innocent mistake was made when Napoleon took incorrectly labelled asthma medication, it was decided that he would be ineligible for three months after the violation with the suspension commencing on 20 August 2010 meaning that he was unable to train with his squad and would be unable to compete in the games.[1]

Napoleon appealed the decision made by FINA to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) resulting in the ban being back dated to 15 June 2010[1]. Although he had missed out on vital training and preparation, Napoleon was then eligible to compete in Delhi where he claimed silver in the 400m freestyle and gold in the 4x200m relay.[2]


  1. ^ a b 26 August 2010 9:53AM (26 August 2010). "Ryan Napoleon 'devastated' by doping ban". The Australian. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  2. ^ "Ryan Napoleon almost grasps gold despite misfortunes". Herald Sun. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 

External links[edit]