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Emotional scenes as Danielle H...
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Emotional scenes as Danielle Hill secures Olympic qualification

There were tears of joy at the National Aquatic Centre on Thursday evening as Danielle Hill achieved Olympic qualification. 

The Larne swimmer booked a ticket to Tokyo by clocking a time faster than the FINA ‘A’ time of 1:00.25 in the 100m backstroke at the Swim Ireland Performance Meet.

Hill set a new Irish record time of 1:00.18 in Thursday evening's final.

She'd gone close in April at the Irish National Team Trials, with a swim of 1:00.34.

"Anyone who knows me, knows I am not an emotional person," the 22-year old 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.”

She added: “I’m so relieved, and so happy. I know there is a faster time in there, but it still did the job.”

Hill joins an Irish swimming team bound for Tokyo that also includes Mona McSharry (100m breaststroke), Darragh Greene (100m & 200m breaststroke), Shane Ryan (100m backstroke) and Daniel Wiffen (800m freestyle).

Eoin Corby came within a whisker of joining them on Thursday.

The 19-year old Limerick native was just 6-hundredths of a second away from the FINA ‘A’ time in the men's 100m backstroke.

Corby swam a time of 59.99, his first sub-60 second time.

Friday morning will see Callum Bain attempt Olympic qualification in the men's 50m freestyle.

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Danielle Hill Olympic Games Olympics Swimming Tokyo 2020

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