Ollie Hynd: Paralympic swimming champion confident of reclassification U-turn

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Paralympian Hynd considered quitting swimming after reclassification

Triple Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd has won an International Paralympic Committee appeal against the process surrounding his reclassification.

The 23-year-old was left "devastated" after he was moved to compete against rivals with less severe impairments.

But he believes the reclassification will be overturned when he is reassessed later this summer.

He told BBC Sport: "I'm confident they will have the correct process in place and I will get the correct result."

Hynd, who has the degenerative muscular condition neuromuscular myopathy, had been competing in the S8 class since his international debut in 2011.

But the Nottinghamshire swimmer was moved from the S8 category to S9 following the assessment in Copenhagen in March.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) rules brought in at the start of the year require all Para-swimmers to undergo international classification before the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.

Hynd argued the process was "deeply flawed" and did not follow protocols.

"If the process is followed correctly and I come out as an S9 then I will have to accept that," he said.

"I appreciate classification is a really, really difficult thing to get right and I understand there has to be a system in place so that everyone is on a level playing field but there needs to be policies in place, whether they are from the IPC or the governing bodies that just support the athlete a bit more."

In a statement, the IPC said it was "constantly striving to improve the experience for athletes within the Paralympic movement, especially for situations such as this".

It continued: "The IPC Athletes' Council can be used as a mouthpiece for all athletes to provide feedback on what further improvements can be made."

Despite not making the qualification standards for his S9 events, Hynd was still selected on the Great Britain team for August's World Para-swimming European Championships in Dublin.

However, he will have to go through classification once again in Dublin before it is confirmed which events he will be eligible to compete in at the competition.

Ollie Hynd
Ollie Hynd won gold in the 400m freestyle S8 and 200m individual medley SM8 at the 2016 Paralympics

Hynd had been due to represent England at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April but he pulled out of the event citing the strain he had been under.

"It was devastating. I was in a very low place I had not been before," he added. "There were thoughts of quitting the sport.

"It felt like everything had been taken away from me. If you are not in a great mental space then that can be a really dangerous place to be.

"My livelihood and everything I had worked for was thrown in the balance.

"There were days where I didn't want to get out of bed and didn't really want to be around people.

"I just kind of boxed myself away a little bit. I needed time away from swimming to get my head straight. I needed time to sort myself out and get more positive thoughts."

And the Nova Centurion swimmer says success at the Tokyo Games in 2020 is now his main target.

He won gold in the SM8 200m individual medley at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics and also won the S8 400m freestyle two years ago in Rio.

"I am just going to give it everything for the next two years," Hynd said. "What will be will be but I fully determined to give it another go because I am here to win gold medals."