Hyland plays his part in another national record-breaking display

By Stephen Leonard

BRENDAN Hyland insists the Ireland 4x200m Freestyle Relay team which he is a part of, has every chance of making the cut for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The Tallaght Swim Club and National Centre competitor combined with Jack McMillan, Robbie Powell and Jordan Sloan to finish second in their heat and 16th overall at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea today.

Brendan hyland competing 1

Brendan Hyland

Their superb time of 7:13.91 served to smash 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 in 7:12.08.

That said, the team is still in the running for a berth in the 2020 Summer Games with four further spaces available for those ranked in the World Top 16 in May 2020.

Delighted with the team’s performance today, Hyland told The Echo “The lads really stepped it up to finish 16th. Everyone [all the world’s top teams] is here and we’ve finished in the top 16 so right now someone has to take that spot off us.

“We’ll have to go again and try to post new times next year. Every one of the teams from 13th upwards will do that and we’ll also be looking to improve on ours.

“We’ll probably take another shot at it at the Irish Nationals. Everyone will be tapered for that and we can control the time when we go for it.

“There’ll also be the European Championships around the end of May, but going hard for it there can possibly affect your Olympic performance, so, ideally, it would be great to do it at the Nationals.”

Hyland will be back out in action on the World Championship stage early on Sunday for the 4x100m Medley.

Again a top-12 finish will bring with it automatic Olympic qualification, and Hyland feels that such and achievement is possible for this team.

“It is a strong team, but there are a lot of strong teams competing” stressed the Tallaght swimmer. “If we all do our business, split well and get that bit of luck, which can be so important, we could do it.”

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