Hyland confident he will get a good crack at reaching Tokyo

By Stephen Leonard

BRENDAN Hyland does not doubt he will get a decent crack at qualification for the Tokyo Olympics despite the havoc wreaked with the international swimming programme by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Tallaght and National Centre swimmer is confident a number of opportunities will still be presented despite Swim Ireland being unable to run their trials in April.

Brendan Hyland compressor

Brendan Hyland is confident he will not be short of opportunities to make next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo

“I don’t feel any press-ure” he told The Echo. “After my performance in the World Championships last year when I was so close [to Olympic qualification] I feel that there will still be plenty of chances for me to get there.”

Indeed the Knocklyon man served up some brilliant performances a last year’s FINA World Swimming Championships in South Korea where he just missed out on the Olympic Games standard in the 200m Butterfly.

Qualifying for the semi finals, he clocked a new PB and Irish record of 1:56.55 that was fractionally outside the Olympic requirement of 1:56.48 as he took sixth place in the penultimate round and 11th overall.

Hyland believes Swim Ireland will endeavour to organise alternative dates for trials and he is confident there will be plenty of other qualifiers overseas to which he will be sent.

It was thought that the World Championships might also provide another route to Tokyo, but they have been postponed until 2022.

The global contest was set to take place in Japan in the summer of 2021, but because the Olympics have been pushed back to that period, it forced FINA to review dates for that tournament.

Initially it was suggested that three other periods might be possible, namely December 2020, March/ April in 2021 or September of 2021.

Yet the former would likely have forced the rearrangement or cancell-ation of the World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi scheduled for that same month.

The prospect of the World Championships providing an avenue to Tokyo was something that had excited Hyland given how well he performed in South Korea last year.

The Tallaght Swim Club star was also due to travel to Budapest for the LEN European Championships in which he and his compatriots would have been pushing for Olympic relay qualification.

This was another area in which Hyland enjoyed success at last year’s Worlds as he played his part in national record-breaking displays with both the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle and 4x100m Medley.

In the latter, the Butterfly specialist combined with Shane Ryan (Backstroke), Darragh Greene (Breaststroke) and Jordan Sloan (Freestyle) to finish in 14th place overall, just two places and .75 off the last Olympic Games qualification spot.

Just two days before, Hyland linked up with Jack McMillan, Robbie Powell and Sloan to finish second in their heat and 16th overall in the Freestyle.

Their time of 7:13.91  smashed the previous Irish Senior record of 7:30.45 that was set back in 2013.

A lifetime best of 1:48 flat by McMillan laid the foundation for a great display by the team with Powell clocking 1:48.84, Sloan 1:47.84 and Hyland 1:49.23 that left them just under two seconds off the last Olympic qualification spot of 12th place that was secured by Switzerland.

While Hyland has been limited to weight training along with some running and cycling on a static bike, he is not overly concerned at this point, saying “I don’t really need to be doing too much at this stage, I just need to keep ticking over.”

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