Golden duo wait on Rio team announcement
Despite being all but a certainty, Kirkby's triple European champion Ollie Hynd is taking nothing for granted before the Great Britain swim team for the Rio Paralympics is announced on Monday.
The team should also include Mansfield’s Charlotte Henshaw, who also won a gold medal in the IPC Swimming European Championships last week, with both swimmers having also achieved the qualifying times needed at last month’s trials in Glasgow.
But Hynd said: “I believe the team will be announced on Monday, so then we’ll know if I’ve been selected or not.
“It is qualifying times and selection policy. So you needed to go and swim as fast as you possibly could, hit the qualifying times and put yourself in the best possible position to be selected.
“You hit the qualifying time and hope it’s enough to put you on the team. But you never know until it’s official. Until my name is in black and white that I am going to Rio, that’s when in my head I will be happy.
“I feel like I delivered good performances in Glasgow and definitely put myself in the shake-up. We’ll have to wait and see. I can only do my best.”
On Nova team mate Charlotte, he added: “She swam really well. She hit the qualifying time for Rio in Glasgow and then won gold out in Madeira too. So for Team Nova is was two successful competitions.
“It shows how good a set-up we have with Glenn Smith as our coach and the team we have in place. It shows it gets results. “You surround yourself with the best people, you get the best results. It’s fantastic to see all the hard work pay off.
“I am just taking a little bit of a rest this week now and then we will see what happens next week.
“Before Rio we have the Scottish Nationals and The British Nationals. So we have a few chances to track progress.”
Ollie and Charlotte Henshaw both achieved stunning results in in Madeira.
Ollie picked up a hat-trick of gold medals and two silver medals from five events, while Charlotte reclaimed her European 2009 title in the SB6 100m breaststroke.
Ollie is now European Champion in the S8 category Men’s 400m freestyle, European champion in the SM8 category Men’s 200 individual medley and European Champion in the S8 category Men’s 100m backstroke.
He also achieved silver in the S8 category Men’s 100m freestyle and the Men’s 34 Point 4 x 100 freestyle relay.
European champion Charlotte delivered a brilliant performance in her race, creating a nine second lead in the final stages to win the gold with a finishing time of 1:37.55.
Ollie said: “Going in, I didn’t have any expectations on medals or anything. I was already European champion in two of them so I thought it would be quite nice to defend those titles.
“My goal was to back-up the performances I had at the trials really. Whatever medals that would come with it I would take.
“So to come away with three golds and two silvers was a dream come true.
“I have only ever won three medals at a major championships before, so to come away with five with three golds was great. And it’s the first time I’ve won the backstroke in an international competition as well.”
He added: “It’s a great confidence-booster.
“We have put in a lot of work and a lot of time in the gym and pool and I felt in great physical shape.
“But, obviously, we had just come off the back of the trials so I was still feeling a little bit tired. I didn’t really know what to expect or how I would swim.
“It shows the work we’ve done in the pool is paying off and I am in great shape. It gives me great confidence to take forward now for the rest of the year.”
Mansfield District Council’s swim coach and development officer Glenn Smith, who coaches both Ollie and Charlotte, said: “Seeing them on top of the podium at any major championship is testament to their hard work, dedication, commitment and talent.
“It is an honour to coach them both; they are amazing people and athletes.”
Executive Mayor of Mansfield District Council, Kate Allsop added: “Ollie and Charlotte have delivered the most fantastic results in Madeira, confirming yet again that they really are exceptional and inspirational athletes.
“We would like to congratulate them on winning their respective European championships and wish them well in their selection bid for the Paralympics in Rio.”