Hyland and Walshe on the double

by Stephen Findlater
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Brendan Hyland in action. Picture: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

BOHERNABREENA’S Brendan Hyland and Templeogue’s Ellen Walshe both played their part in two national record-breaking performances at the LEN European Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

They will now wait to see if it is enough to get in the frame for Olympic qualification with May 31 the cut-off date for FINA, the world aquatics governing body, to announce who has made the cut.

Indeed, Ireland’s goal for these championships was to qualify an Olympic relay team for the first time since 1972 and they left the Duna Arena having set new Irish senior records in every relay event they competed in.

This included six Olympic relay events – the men’s and women’s 4x100m medley and freestyle relays, the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay and the mixed 4x100m medley relay.

Hyland’s first record of the week was involved with the mixed 4x200m freestyle in tandem with Max McCusker, Naomi Trait and Victoria Catterson.

And, in the men’s 4x100m, along with Shane Ryan, Darragh Greene and Jack McMillan, Hyland helped set a new record of 3:34.62 in the heats, and went under 3:35.00 for a second time to finish 7th in the final in a time of 3:34.88.

In this event, Ireland are now in good shape of securing a Tokyo berth.

Walshe’s records came in the mixed 4x100m medley when they lowered the national record by over three seconds down to 3:49.08.

On Sunday, in the women’s 4x100m, along with Danielle Hill, Mona McSharry and Victoria Catterson, they took almost 10 seconds off the previous best when touching the wall in 4:02.93.

Swim Ireland’s National Performance Director, Jon Rudd, who was in Budapest, said: 

He added: “Overall, we are exceptionally pleased with how this group of athletes have progressed and galvanised into a unit that has re-written almost all of the Irish senior Relay records this week.

“Two of our teams must now wait patiently to see if an Olympic invite is forthcoming. 

“Needless to say, I’m a very proud performance director.”

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