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Irish F-Teamers Ready For Trials

15 April 2021

The Irish Trials will take place from April 20-24 at the National Aquatic Centre in Dublin. One year later than planned, and the meet originally called the Irish Open Meet, swimmers will descend on Dublin with the hope of filling their lifelong dreams. Covid has become a setback for most, but our F-Teamers have used the 12-month delay to Tokyo to train harder, get better and secure a seat on the plane.

Brendan Hyland will be stepping up to the block in both the 100m and 200m Butterfly with personal best times of 52.58 and 1:56.55, respectively. "I'm really looking forward to the 200m Fly because it's always been my dream to make the team in that event after watching Phelps win it back when I was a 9-year-old at Athens in 2004! My biggest competition is my training partner Cillian Melly. We've both pushed each other so much in training over the last year. Partly due to Covid I have had a great block of training as there haven't been any distractions; I hope we get what we've worked for come trials."

Brendan is aiming for the Fina A standard of 1:56.48 in order to qualify. A PB of 0.07 would surely seal his fate. With the trials in his home pool, his routine and pre-race prep will be very similar to most meets.

With everything going on in the world at the moment Robbie Powell is extremely privileged to be racing at trials. Robbie will be in action in the men's 100m and 200m Freestyle and with a current PB of 1:49.6 Robbie is looking to lower that. "The 200m Freestyle is a juicy one! I've been focusing on it for 2 years now and I haven't had a chance to race a tapered individual 200 since April 2019. I'm buzzing to see what I can do after 2 years of getting better. There's a load of us looking for just a few 4x200 Freestyle spots, and because of that the 200 Free is probably the most stacked Irish event this year. I couldn't narrow my competition down to just one individual so it's going to be a good race!"

Ben Woodside is racing in the 100m (PB 1:04.62) and 200m (PB 2:19.98) Breaststroke events. "I'm hoping my performance at these trials will help me get to the European Junior  Finals in Rome, as this would be my biggest competition yet! Eoin Corby is the Irish Junior record holder and is my biggest competition. I would love to be able to work on my pre-race routine at this competition to see how it will affect my racing. Usually before a race, I'd sit and have a chat with the others in my heat but due to Covid a lot of my friends won't be attending these trials which is a bit of a shame."

Things will look a bit different with Covid protocols and restrictions but it shouldn't stop our F-Teamers from smashing out some fast times. Good luck boys!

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