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.
🔥Danielle Hill gets that FINA ‘A’ time for Tokyo 2020 in 100m Backstroke!
She needed 1:00.25!
The dream is real for @Danielle_FBD and @LarneSwimClub @sportireland @TeamIreland @arenaUK_ @KineticaSports pic.twitter.com/ZONwPGaenH
— Swim Ireland (@swimireland) June 24, 2021
“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.