Olympics 2024: Hill hoping to record personal best times in Paris

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On the back of qualifying for this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris, Danielle Hill spoke to the Larne Times to detail her aspirations.

The Larne Swimming Club member, who had set a new Irish Record of 24.95 in the heats of the 50m Freestyle on Saturday morning (May 25), lowered that time to 24.68 on Saturday night to cement her status as Ireland’s fastest ever female swimmer.

The 24-year-old, who qualified for her second Olympic Games in the 100m Backstroke on Wednesday (May 22), secured another Olympic Qualifying Time going two hundredths of a second under the World Aquatics standard of 24.70.

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Commenting after her successful Olympic qualification, the Newtownabbey resident said: “I hope I can maybe record some personal best times and put myself in semi-finals and maybe even finals.

Danielle Hill pictured with Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Gerardine Mulvenna and representatives from Larne Leisure Centre and Woodsides Logistics. (Pic: NI World).Danielle Hill pictured with Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Gerardine Mulvenna and representatives from Larne Leisure Centre and Woodsides Logistics. (Pic: NI World).
Danielle Hill pictured with Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Gerardine Mulvenna and representatives from Larne Leisure Centre and Woodsides Logistics. (Pic: NI World).

"As far as this goes, it has to be one of my best lifetime achievements. The 100 backstroke I expected, but the 50 freestyle was incredible and probably one of my main highlights of last week.

"I need to say a special thank you to everyone at Team Larne and people across the borough for their continued support throughout the years.

"It comes all the way from the lifeguards at the leisure centre all the way to Peter my head coach and my sponsors Woodsides. There are so many people to name, but hopefully I can do them proud in Paris.”

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Danielle’s coach Peter Hill explained: “I have worked with Danielle for 12 years now. Her qualification for her second Olympics is a testament to the consistent hard work she has put in over years.

"We came into this year with a mindset of wanting to perform on the biggest stage in July and getting this first part of that plan over the line in such an emphatic way is nothing short of brilliant.

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"Adding the 50 freestyle and becoming the first female swimmer to post A times in two different strokes was the cherry on the cake.

“We have nine weeks now and the plan is still the same, be competitive in Paris.

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“Danielle is more than an outstanding athlete in our club. She is a coach to a group of young people that she is inspiring for the future.

"The parents of these kids travelled from Larne to Dublin multiple times over the trials’ week to watch and cheer. It speaks volumes about Danielle and what we are trying to do here.”

Danielle has been sponsored by Woodsides Logistics over the past three years.

Thanking the Ballynure-based company for their support, Peter added: “The financial support from Woodsides Logistics is a club sponsorship that allows us to continue to provide coaching and support for our athletes. It amounts to £6,000 a year for the last three years.”

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Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Ald Gerardine Mulvenna congratulated Danielle on reaching her second Olympic Games.

Ald Mulvenna stated: “Danielle is a fantastic role model for the young people she coaches and a great ambassador for the borough. To make it to her second Olympic Games is an incredible achievement. She’s now ranked as Europe’s number one and we’re all wishing her well as she prepares for Paris.”

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