Brendan Hyland Receives a “B” Cut Reprieve on Ireland’s Final Olympic Roster

Swim Ireland has announced its final 9-swimmer roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: the final choice among a number of unusual circumstances for the team after a roller-coaster qualifying period.

The team is the largest group of swimmers that Ireland has ever sent to the Olympic Games.

The roster officially includes Ellen Walshe, who did hit a FINA ‘A’ cut in the last weekend of qualifying, albeit outside of the stated Irish qualifying procedures. She was given a reprieve, however, to swim the 200 IM and 100 fly in Tokyo.

Correction: this article previously said that Danielle Hill was the swimmer to have complications in qualifying as above. While Hill also hit her FINA “A” time in the final opportunity, she was within 1.5% of the qualifying time going into the meet, so no special exceptions had to be made for her qualifying.

First, the roster:

Men (6):

Women (3):

Men’s 800 Free Relay

Ireland’s only relay at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be the men’s 800 free relay. The country was originally invited in the men’s 400 medley relay as well, but that offer was rescinded when FINA realized an error in not including the time of a Greek relay in the “Wildcard” rankings.

Ireland initially was to protest that relay, but ultimately has accepted the result.

This has left the country in a peculiar position, because with only one relay qualified, they are only able to bring two relay-only swimmers to the meet.

Those relay only swimmers, Finn McGeever and Jack McMillan, are both key members of the Irish 800 free relay that will race in Tokyo.

Because of FINA rules, however, two of the four swimmers who swam the 800 free relay at the European Championships that earned the qualifying time, Jordan Sloan and Gerry Quinn, could not be chosen for Tokyo.

Instead, Ireland has had to scrap together four members to swim the relay.

One will be Brendan Hyland, who has been invited based on a FINA ‘B’ invitation to attend the Games in the 200 fly. Swim Ireland said that while they wouldn’t normally take swimmers who only received ‘B’ invitations, they need Hyland to help fill out the 800 free relay.

His was the country’s only ‘B cut’ invitation.

The fourth member of that relay will be Shane Ryan, who is a sprinter, but among the swimmers who earned individual invites via ‘A’ cuts is the next-best option.

Ireland’s men’s 800 free relay, along with personal bests:

Swimmers being left home:

  • Gerry Quinn – 1:48.87
  • Jordan Sloan – 1:47.41

McGeever was ultimately chosen over Sloan and Quinn in spite of Sloan and Quinn both having faster splits at the European Championships in May. Sloan has a substantially-faster best flat start time, and finished 2nd at the National Team Trials in April (ahead of McGeever who was 3rd).

National Performance Director Jon Rudd, however, pointed to Ireland’s selection procedures, and the fact that between Euros and April’s selection met, McGeever’s 1:48.13 at Trials in the semifinals is the best time among him and Sloan, leading to his selection.

“This has been the longest ever Olympic cycle and qualification period that the sport has faced,” said Rudd via press release. “To have nine swimmers amongst an 11 member aquatics team for the Games is an excellent outcome for our sport and all those involved.

“A double Trials and a protracted relay appeal meant that many of our athletes have not known until very recently whether they would or could be selected to this team, and for all of the difficult days of uncertainty that they have had to face, we very much sympathise with them, particularly those who did not get over the line on this occasion. I have the greatest respect and admiration for Jordan and Gerry in particular.

“For the nine athletes on this team, there have been numerous coaches, clubs and family members that have been part of the journey alongside all of our athletes and for this, we sincerely thank them. Our attentions now turn to our preparation camp in Hamamatsu and our strongest endeavours to see this talented team perform to their best over the nine days of racing in Tokyo.”

The reprieve from domestic selection criteria for Hyland was awarded, ostensibly, for the benefit of the relay, but his individual potential in the 200 fly is still among Ireland’s best. At the 2019 World Championships, his 11th place finish in the 200 fly was the country’s only swim in an Olympic event beyond the preliminary rounds.

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Water
10 months ago

Why is there no mention of hill .not flying with team .

Water
Reply to  Water
10 months ago

Peter is getting rattle. have a beer Peter what’s the worst that would happen

Rudderly Stupid
Reply to  Water
10 months ago

Too much quarantini, drunk+covid=idiot

Ex Irish swimmer #2
10 months ago

Emperor palpaRudd strikes again

Justafan
Reply to  Ex Irish swimmer #2
10 months ago

his antics are rud-diculous

Justafan
10 months ago

Dear Dr Rudd,

lmao, it’s like being a colossal incompetent A-hole isn’t actually a successful way to operate??

yours truly,
Irish people who actually care about Irish swimming

Emg1986
10 months ago

Brendan Hyland would have been the first invite. Fina’s invite policy is based on points that their athlete has in a particular event, and it must be an event that the NOC doesn’t already have an athlete participating, which leaves out Furgeson, Corby, Coyne. The times are taken between March 2019 and June 2021. so based on that Hyland’s points from his 1:56.55 200 fly is 875 and McMillans 49.11 100 free is 871 (his 200 free is actually lower, 864).

So yeah, Hyland would have been the first invite.

Shannon Waters
Reply to  Emg1986
10 months ago

Hyland got the invite so Rudd could big up his ego re the Relay. End of story. He came here with notions about a one trial meet, demanding fast swims in the morning heats, actually denied 2 young swimmers for EYOF as they didn’t make the time in their heats yet hit it in the finals at their trials. Doesn’t care about the youth. Gave swimmers more opps than ever for the Olympics. If it’s coming home please can Rudd go with it.

Just a thought
Reply to  Emg1986
10 months ago

Just a thought…

First of all congrats to Hyland on his invite I’m sure he’s worked so hard and does deserve it. However, on that theory McMillan should of been given a B invite and then this would allow Sloan to take his invite on the relay. This would be the most beneficial answer would it not?

Can’t imagine how Sloan and Quinn must feel. They did themselves proud.

Good luck to all the team.

Anon
10 months ago

Fact check

Danielle Hill was not given a reprieve. As one of the 10 athletes within 1.5% going into last qualification opportunity she was deemed eligible for qualification and then qualified by posting an A time in the 100 back.

Wether or not we agree with the policy is another matter entirely.

Water
Reply to  Anon
10 months ago

Where is she now .not traveling with the others I see

Ex Irish International Swimmer
10 months ago

Congratulations to all 9 members on getting invited to the Tokyo games, gigantic achievement.

As a now retired Swim Ireland athlete, there has always been procedural problems within the organization. Keith Bewley faced it, Peter Banks faced and Rudd also faces it. Swim Ireland is a business, it always has been and will make the best choices to secure funding and excel their HPCs. Athletes are numbers in the grand scheme of things and the best decisions are made for the organization vs the athletes themselves as highlighted through Jordan and Gerry having to sit this one out.

Bren is almost like a scapegoat in this situation but let’s not discount the fact that he has been one… Read more »

Crosbie69
Reply to  Ex Irish International Swimmer
10 months ago

With all due respect, Bewley was the very best director we ever had. And Swim Ireland screwed him and Ronald by cutting their contracts short.

The other two are arrogant wankers. Rudd is an Englishman first and foremost and it shows in his cronies. Banks on the other-hand was everything wrong with Swim Ireland from the get-go. They’re everything wrong with it at an administrative level. Corrupt, corrupt, and corrupt! Sure look at Banksy’s old friend George Gibney. Claims he never knew what was happening, my arse!

Check out the podcast on abuse. He very well knew what was going on, everybody knows it. As for Rudd, he’s the Pep of Swimming. Not a particularly talented coach but… Read more »

Ernie
Reply to  Crosbie69
10 months ago

I would 100% disagree with you on Bewley and Ronald.

Ronald left Limerick with a trail of destruction behind him with so many of the swimmers down there were broken after his program, both physically and mentally.

Bewley, prioritized home swimmers too in 2008. As we know, it looks better for the Swim Ireland program and to Sport Ireland if swimmers based in Ireland qualify.

In 2008, 3 swimmers were very close to A times but ultimately only had a B-times. Swim Ireland, guided by Bewley, nominated 2 home based swimmers (Nocher and Cooney) and didn’t nominate Murphy who was based in US.

From an outside perspective it’s same ol’ same ol’ with Swim Ireland

Crosbie69
10 months ago

Let’s not land the entirety of the blame on Rudd, Sarah Keane is to blame too. She gave free reign to the likes of Banks, Rudd and the relentless epic failure and uncharismatic bore that was Paul Donovan. If anybody else should get the boot, it should be the CEO too. She knows more than she lets on.

FitzjamesHorse
10 months ago

I dont want to think in terms of personalities.
If anyone had said four or eight years ago that Ireland would be sending nine swimmers to Tokyo, it would have been regarded as a success. We are not USA, Australia, Russia.
The relay …as the four swimmers who qualified dont have A times…then there is a choice to be made.
1 Decline the invitation and disappoint four swimmers.
2 Draft in one or two swimmers that allows a relay team to compete. Diappoint two swimmers.
3 Decline on the basis that “we are purists and will only nominate A qualifiers” or nominate a B qualifier as necessary to get the relay team in the water.… Read more »

SwimIrelandInsider
Reply to  FitzjamesHorse
10 months ago

NCD helped daragh, Bren and niamh over 5 years. Shane is stagnant bar 50s, Conor went back to Larne, Sloan didn’t improve down there, countless youths like Sean scannell and Ethan murtagh didn’t improve there either and have since quit. The HP centre, at least in Dublin does not work. If it did the best swimmers in Ireland wouldn’t be leaving to the US and they wouldn’t be coming from NCL and northern clubs when NCD has the best facilities, supposedly the best coaches and astronomically more funding. NCL thrived because the national team and the club that trained there were incredibly well integrated. NCD closed themselves off and it’s not only backfired on them but it’s killed the Leinster… Read more »

SwimSider
Reply to  SwimIrelandInsider
10 months ago

Was the PED case in Dublin?

The Real Therese
Reply to  SwimSider
10 months ago

Swept under the carpet by the bluffer as he was very vocal when other countries (Russia and China) were caught. He couldn’t have his reputation marred by a scandal like this..

Water
Reply to  The Real Therese
10 months ago

His skin is so clear after stopping using his acne cream .how did that get into my bag

SwimIrelandInsider
Reply to  SwimSider
10 months ago

Ah not a PED case, it’s something else

SwimIrelandInsider
Reply to  SwimIrelandInsider
10 months ago

If it was a PED case the swimmer wouldn’t have been mentioned in the post today tbf

SwimSider
Reply to  SwimIrelandInsider
10 months ago

Post?

The Real Therese
Reply to  SwimSider
10 months ago

The PED was last year and as little of you know about it, it shows the media spin in SI is very good.

Swim Yeeter
Reply to  The Real Therese
10 months ago

I’m all for ripping into SI but that’s topical atm whether it was doping or a mistake any country keeps them on the DL Cus it looks bad, that issue is over and done lets not drag that into it like

SwimSider
Reply to  Swim Yeeter
10 months ago

Big issue is the management

Sean Scannell
Reply to  SwimIrelandInsider
10 months ago

Wouldn’t mind knowing who I’m talking to here but just to fact check your comment above, I actually didn’t get worse (1:56 in December in my last competition, pb) Cheers!

Serious question
Reply to  FitzjamesHorse
10 months ago

Not much of a case to be made for Hyland who has been miles off his PBs this year? Let’s call a spade a spade here, they could have worked to get Macmillan an invite and then bring Sloan who was third fastest on the relay. Rudd wanted to toot his own horn however and bring a NCD swimmer instead.

Swim monkey
Reply to  Serious question
10 months ago

😂 as if that’s swim Ireland decision

Justafan
Reply to  Swim monkey
10 months ago

Nominating swimmers is exactly Swim Irelands decision.. That’s what they do..? Sloan’s PB is blisteringly close to the A cut on 200 free.. I can’t understand how you’d miss that fact

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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