DCU graduate and Olympic hopeful Brendan Hyland set another record in the 100 metre butterfly at the Irish National Short Course Championships in December. Hyland recorded a time of 51.33 and now owns the record for both the 100m and 200m butterfly in short course (25m) and long course (50m) swimming pools.
Speaking to The College View he said, “It gives me confidence, because sometimes my speed isn’t my biggest strength. So the fact that I’m improving in the shorter races just gives me a good bit of confidence that the speed is there when I want to be. This in turn, will hopefully transfer over to the 200m butterfly in the long course season”.
Having broken another record, Hyland’s immediate focus now switches to the Swim Ireland Olympic Trials in Blanchardstown in April, where he will have another opportunity to seal Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2020. “Setting a record does give me confidence but it’s all about putting work in the bank leading to the big show in April”, he said.
Hyland narrowly missed out on Olympic qualification at the World Championships in South Korea last July, where he was just seven one-hundredths of a second away from achieving his Olympic dream.
“Swimming that time – 1.56.55 – it was the best swim of my life. I came eleventh in the World Championships. It was massively bitter-sweet because seven one-hundredths of a second and it would have been wrapped up, and that’s me an Olympian. All these things happen for a reason and it’s kept me spurred on for the whole year to do the business my next chance”, he said.
All of Hyland’s endeavours will culminate in his showing at the upcoming trials. “April is the big one. I’m just trying to keep the trend going. I’ve improved every time I’ve raced under my new coach Ben Higson over the past two years so training has just been about repetition and gaining confidence”, he said.
Hyland has come a long way since he began competing at the age of 10, winning his first ever competition in the 200m butterfly. “I feel like from then on, the 200m butterfly was kind of my thing”, he said.
Moving out from the Tallaght Sports Complex to the National Performance Centre in Blanchardstown at the age of 16 was fundamental in Hyland’s development.
“I dropped off from being an average teenage swimmer to setting an Irish junior and senior record at the age of 17, as well as reaching European finals and becoming the Irish champion” he said. All of which happened in a whirlwind 18 months for the Tallaght native.
While Hyland graduated in November, he is still actively involved within the university coaching the DCU Swim Club. “I enjoy it. I can give them a lot of technical tips and pass on advice from what I’ve experienced over the years”, he said.
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