Tallaght’s Brendan Hyland Tokyo 2020 dream within reach

by Gazette Reporter

There was both agony and elation at the World Swimming Championships continued in Gwangju, South Korea on Tuesday, with Tallaght’s Brendan Hyland making his mark.

Another big barrier was broken as Hyland smashed through the 1:57 mark in the 200m Butterfly to finish sixth in his semi-final and 11th overall.

Hyland had started the day with an Irish Record of 1:57.21 and he took a further 0.12 off that in the heats to make the semi-final in 14th place.

Another half second came off that time in the semi-final with the 24-year-old clocking 1:56.55, agonisingly close to the Olympic qualification time of 1:56.48.

Speaking after the race, Hyland commented: “I’m disappointed obviously, it would have been unbelievable just to wrap it up. It is encouraging, it’s a big swim. I mean it’s the best swim of my life but it is .07 I could have done with, it’s hard.”

The Tallaght native’s next opportunity to get the Olympic qualification time in the event will be at Swim Ireland’s Olympic Trials in April 2020.

Hyland was due to return to action on Wednesday for the 200m individual medley but instead will focus on the men’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay on Friday where Ireland will be hoping to finish in the top 12 which would secure a place for Tokyo 2020.

Earlier in the week, Templeogue Swimming Club’s Ellen Walshe made an impressive debut in her first senior international event.

The 17-year-old Walshe swam her third fastest time ever in heat three of the 100m Butterfly where she finished in 7th place in 1:00.85.

World Youth Olympic silver medallist, Niamh Coyne – also from Tallaght – competed in the 100m Breaststroke, where the 18-year-old was dissatisfied with her swim.

She lost her hat early on in the race and never fully recovered. Coyne will have other opportunities this week as she competes in the 50m and 200m breaststroke and the mixed medley relay.

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