After Almost 8 Years of Retirement, Brent Hayden Hits Olympic “A” time

2020 PRO SWIM SERIES – DES MOINES

36-year old Canadian swimmer Brent Hayden hit his Olympic “A” time on Saturday in the 50 free, swimming a 21.97 to finish 3rd on Saturday at the Pro Swim Series meet in Des Moines.

Hayden, the Canadian Record holder in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyles, swam his first race since returning to training in January, where he swam 22.34 in the 50 free. Then in February, in Vancouver, he swam a 22.31.

On Saturday, Hayden blew the doors open and slid under the Olympic “A” time of 22.01.

The time does not officially select Hayden for the Olympic Team. Unlike some countries, Canadian swimmers must hit the Olympic Qualifying Time and finish in the top 2 at the Canadian Olympic Trials to guarantee a spot on the Olympic Team. If nobody hits the “A” standard at the Canadian Swimming Trials in April, the top ranked swimmer who hits the Swimming Canada Olympic Nomination Time of 22.12 will earn an invite. Beyond that, the Swimming Canada High Performance Director has sole discretion to add swimmers who have FINA ‘A’ times where places are still available.

Hayden’s time is the best by a Canadian this year or last, ahead of Yuri Kisil’s 22.23 from the 2019 Canadian Olympic Trials. William Pisani was 22.30 at that meet, and both swimmers are over a decade younger than Hayden.

This 22.97 is the 4th-best time of Hayden’s career. In 2009, he swam 21.73 and 21.94, and in 2010 he swam 21.89.

Hayden also swam a 49.46 in a 100 free time trial on Friday.

 

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SwimmerFan99
1 year ago

Don’t underestimate Hayden. He was the fastest *swimmer* in the water tonight. He got off the blocks like an elderly man getting out of bed and at 15m was like a body length behind Dressel, but then was only .46 behind him at the finish. 21.97…not bad for 8 years away from the sport. VERY reminiscent of Ervin’s story, even down to the start. Happy to see Caeleb giving the veteran respect at the end!

Awesome article Braden – minor correction, the last sentence says 22.97.

Hayden
Reply to  SwimmerFan99
1 year ago

That is the best description of my dive I’ve ever read! Hahaha!!! Yeah I’ve always had slow dives for a sprinter…and believe it or not.. this is actually better than before. Got some ideas of what I can work on. Overall happy with the time and had a lot of fun racing those guys! Glad to be back!

EliteSwim99
Reply to  Hayden
1 year ago

Haha yeah honestly I’ve never seen ANYONE come back on Dressel in such a short distance. In fact, in ANY distance (with the lone exception of Chalmers in the 100FR). It’s a bold statement, but your raw freestyle speed might very well be the best in the world at the moment, which is quite something given your comeback circumstances. With some more training heading into the summer, good rest, and even a marginally better start, your wicked acceleration/momentum could take you further than anyone might suspect! You’re making waves Brent (literally and figuratively)

AfterShock
Reply to  SwimmerFan99
1 year ago

You add a second for daylight saving time.

HAYDEN
Reply to  AfterShock
1 year ago

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Love it!!!

BobbyJones
Reply to  SwimmerFan99
1 year ago

minor error no.2 – Also says 2019 Olympic Trials….

Lane 8
1 year ago

Go Brent! Lookin’ real good!

Hayden
Reply to  Lane 8
1 year ago

Thank you!!!

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel
Reply to  Hayden
1 year ago

Love to see you interact with the other swimmers once the race is over!

Hayden
Reply to  MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel
1 year ago

That’s one of the things I missed the most when I retired.
PS – I legit had to ask Dressel what my time was because I couldn’t read the board without my glasses.

Steve Hulford
Reply to  Hayden
1 year ago

That is hilarious. Congrats.

You must have picked up your dive from Ryan Cochrane

All the best this summer on your road to Tokyo!

Scott Morgan
1 year ago

WTG Brent!

Hayden
Reply to  Scott Morgan
1 year ago

Thx Scott!!!

GA Boy
1 year ago

Old man strength at it’s finest

GA Boy
Reply to  GA Boy
1 year ago

Age is just a letter

Hayden
Reply to  GA Boy
1 year ago

Now just need to find some old man speed off the blocks!

Gheko
1 year ago

Goodonya Brent!

Hayden
Reply to  Gheko
1 year ago

Thanks so much!!!

njones
1 year ago

And Brent himself leads the comment section… Awesome!! But not as awesome as being 2 tenths off his lifetime best… From 11 yrs ago… In a supersuit… In season… After 7 yrs of retirement… Etc… Etc… Etc …

1001pools
Reply to  njones
1 year ago

That’s the real huge thing. Surely both of those times from 2009 were super-suited. Absolutely amazing. If you want to hear some of things Mr. Hayden is doing diet-wise, check out the “Inside with Brett Hawke” podcast they just did. It seems like he’s hitting all the right things in the pool, into the body and inside the mind. Can’t wait to watch him in Scarborough in a month, then Tokyo this summer.

Hayden
Reply to  1001pools
1 year ago

Glad you enjoyed the podcast!

Hayden
Reply to  njones
1 year ago

11 years…in a super suit…thanks for reminding me how old I am! Haha!

MTK
1 year ago

Incredibly impressive to not only be within spitting distance of best times at age 36, but after 7+ years of retirement! As a Canadian fan, there’s a massive appreciation there for Hayden being one of the few guys that kept Canadian swimming afloat in the 2000s. Having him back in the sport is so exciting, and there’s such an insane level of talent there to be able to move down from the 100 to the 50 and still be performing at this level.

Hayden
Reply to  MTK
1 year ago

Thanks so much! That really means a lot. Just hoping my presence back can have a positive impact on this younger team.

DSswim
1 year ago

The older the better

Hayden
Reply to  DSswim
1 year ago

Youre right. I think the idea of athletes having “prime” years is a bunch of bs. If athletes and coaches learn how to adapt their training and diets to match their age, the so called prime years can happen over and over

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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