July 23, 2019

There was both agony and elation for Irish swimmers as the World Swimming Championships continued in Gwangju, South Korea today with Brendan Hyland and Darragh Greene making their mark in world swimming. 

Another big barrier was broken this evening as Hyland smashed through the 1:57 mark in the 200m Butterfly to finish 6th in his semi-final and 11th overall. Hyland had started the day with an Irish Record of 1:57.21, he took .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’s encouraging, it’s a big swim, I mean it’s the best swim of my life but it’s .07 I could have done with, it’s hard.‘ The Tallaght natives 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 tomorrow for the 200m Individual Medley but instead will focus on the Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay on Friday, Ireland will be hoping to finish in the top 12 which would secure a place for Tokyo 2020.

Darragh Greene put in another impressive swim in the 50m Breaststroke semi-finals. Greene had progressed from the morning heats in a swift 26.94, a new Irish Record and the first Irish man to break 27 seconds in the event. His semi-final swim, which saw him 4th in his race and 10th overall was his second fastest time ever, in 27.14.

Greene returns to the pool on Friday for the 200m Breaststroke and will be full of confidence following his 50m and 100m swims. The Longford man has already been under the Olympic qualification time in the event when he set an Irish Record of 2:10.05 at the Irish Open in March.

Speaking after today’s semi-final he commented ‘Looking at where I came in, I was around 20th, so to move up the rankings, I’m happy. Two good swims today, I’m really looking forward to the 200m (Breaststroke) in the next few days. I’m looking forward to giving it a shot and seeing where I’m at, especially on this stage, it’s a fast pool.’

Ellen Walshe, Niamh Coyne and Robbie Powell all return to action tomorrow while Conor Ferguson and Curtis Coulter will make their championship debuts. Coulter will compete in the 100m Freestyle heats while Ferguson will team up with Walshe, Coyne and Powell for the 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay. Ferguson, Walshe and Powell are all members of the team that set the current Irish record of 3:52.38 in the Medley Relay along with Mona McSharry in 2017.

Earlier today, Molly Mayne, competing at the European Youth Olympics in Baku, Azerbaijan, progressed to the semi-final of the 200m Breaststroke after finishing sixth overall in 2:32.67. The Templeogue swimmer will be back in action again at 14:52 Irish time.

INTERVIEW: Darragh Greene HERE & Brendan Hyland HERE

FINA World Diving & Swimming Championships, 12th – 28th July 2019, Gwangju, South Korea

Result Tuesday 23rd July

Men 50m Breaststroke

Darragh Greene

H 26.94 ISR

SF 27.14 (10th)

Men 200m Butterfly

Brendan Hyland

H 1:57.09 ISR

SF 1:56.55 ISR (11th)


Schedule Tuesday 23rd July (Heats 2am, Finals 12pm (Ireland))

Men 100m Freestyle

Curtis Coulter

Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay