Danielle Hill records Olympic consideration time in 100m backstroke

Larne swimmer now set to join Ireland Olympic team for Tokyo

Danielle Hill hit an Olympic consideration time in the 100m backstroke during the Swim Ireland performance meeting in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Danielle Hill hit an Olympic consideration time in the 100m backstroke during the Swim Ireland performance meeting in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Danielle Hill has become the fifth Irish swimmer to hit an Olympic consideration time for the Tokyo Games next month, making the most of the last-chance Swim Ireland performance meeting in Dublin.

In setting a new Irish senior record of 1:00.18 in the 100m backstroke final, Hill is now set to join the Team Ireland in Japan next month. The Larne swimmer, coached by Peter Hill at Larne Swimming Club, needed to meet or swim faster than the Fina ‘A’ time of 1:00.25 to earn an Olympic consideration for Tokyo 2020 and had hit 1:00.34 at the Irish national team trials in April, lowering her own Irish senior record at the time.

Competing at the National Aquatic Centre on Thursday evening, the 22-year-old bettered that time again, setting potentially the most important Irish senior record of her career.

“Anyone who knows me, knows I am not an emotional person,” she said. “I don’t show emotion often, so these tears are real, and it wasn’t just about me tonight, that was for the whole Larne team.

“They have had the toughest 12 months, and when we joined back in with them, they treated Conor [Ferguson] and I like we were normal, and it was so nice to be around them again. That was most definitely for those guys I’m so relieved, and so happy. I know there is a faster time in there, but it still did the job.”

As well as 100m backstroke, Hill also owns the 50m and 100m freestyle Irish senior records and 50m backstroke. Her time of 25.19 in 50m freestyle makes her Ireland’s fastest ever female swimmer.

Limerick’s Eoin Corby came closest to joining Hill on the Olympic consideration list, posting his first sub-60 100m breaststroke in a time of 59.99. It was agonisingly close to the Tokyo 2020 Fina ‘A’ time of 59.93 for the 19-year-old.

Bangor Swimming Club’s Jack McMillan had gone closest to an Olympic consideration time in the morning heats in the 200m freestyle, swimming 1:47.11 in search of 1:47.02, but could not better that this evening, winning the final in 1:47.26.

The action at the Swim Ireland performance meet continues on Friday morning, when Calum Bain will make his bid for Olympic consideration in 50m freestyle.

Hill joins Darragh Greene (100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke), Shane Ryan (100m backstroke), Daniel Wiffen (800m freestyle) and Mona McSharry (100m breaststroke) as the Irish individual swimmers for Tokyo. The relay team selections will be made at a later date.

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