On-form Ollie Hynd secures GB 400m freestyle place

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KIRKBY swim star Ollie Hynd is one step nearer Olympic glory after he qualified for the 400m freestlye GB team at the first time of asking.

Hynd claimed second spot, one place ahead of brother Sam, at the British National Swimming Championships at the London Aquatic Centre this weekend.

Ollie swam a personal best time of 4.28.62 to secure second spot and the necessary qualifying time for the London Paralympics.

It is the latest success story for Ollie, who won the SM8 200-individual medley in a new European record time at the IPC European Swimming Championships in Berlin last July.

Speaking after the race delighted agent Chris Whittaker said: “We are obviously very happy that Ollie has met the qualifying time and that all the hard work he has put in has paid off.

“You cannot ask any more than swimming a personal best time in the qualification events.

“Ollie hopes to build on this time now and put in another top two finish at the next selection trials to further re-enforce his selection.

“This time is a real reward, not just for Ollie, but for his coach and everyone who has helped Ollie get where he is.

“Obviously now we will be working for Ollie to peak in September ready for the Paralympics.”

But a fractured wrist sustained after a fall on Monday night means Ollie will not be able to take his spot in the 200IM qualifying trials as planned on Thursday

That means Ollie will now have to go through the nerve-wracking process of bagging a qualifying time during the second selection trials in Sheffield next month.

Nova Centurion swimmer Charlotte Henshaw is hoping to follow in Ollie’s footstep when she takes to the pool in the 100m breast-stroke on Friday.

The Mansfield swimmer has an even greater incentive to qualify following the crushing disappointment of fourth place in Beijing.

Said Charlotte: “Coming fourth for most sportspeople is the worst place to come. You’d rather come a long way off the medals. But if I’d come out of that with the desired outcome perhaps I wouldn’t be swimming now.

“It was the first time I had represented Great Britain so I was thrown in at the deep end – the biggest competition you can have – and I was away from home for a month. That took a lot of getting used to and was a learning curve.

“But you can use everything as a positive and since Beijing I have won European gold, World silver and broke my own world record twice.”

Charlotte admitted it was difficult not to think about London with the national media building up the anticipation to fever pitch.

“You can’t help but feel the pressure especially when everyone is so focused on the Games.

“But I know there won’t be a Games for me if I don’t perform well in the trials so they are my prime focus.

“I want to get my name on the list, then I can focus on what I want to achieve at the Games.”