16 Canadians Have been Under The FINA A Throughout 3 Most Recent Swim Season

Beginning with the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, Canada has been improving significantly in the world swimming ranks. Specifically, the Canadian women have begun to pick up momentum and have become a real medal threat in a number of events at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

In 2016, Canada won 6 medals at the Games; 2 individually from Penny Oleksiak (100 freestyle, 100 butterfly), 1 individually from Kylie Masse (100 backstroke), and 1 individually from now-retired Hilary Caldwell (200 backstroke). Additionally, Canada won bronze in both the 4×100 and 4×200 freestyle relays.

Between the two World Championships this Olympic quad, Canada has won 12 World Championships medals. Both Kylie Masse and Sydney Pickrem contributed one of those medals in 2017 and two in 2019, with Maggie MacNeil contributing one gold medal in 2019.

  • Kylie Masse: 100 backstroke gold (2017)
  • Kylie Masse: 100 backstroke gold (2019)
  • Maggie MacNeil: 100 butterfly gold (2019)
  • Sydney Pickrem: 400 IM bronze (2017)
  • Sydney Pickrem: 200 IM bronze (2019)
  • Sydney Pickrem: 200 breaststroke bronze (2019)
  • Kylie Masse: 200 backstroke bronze (2019)
  • Mixed 4×100 medley relay bronze (2017)
  • Mixed 4×100 freestyle relay bronze (2017)
  • Women’s 4×100 medley relay bronze (2019)
  • Women’s 4×200 freestyle relay bronze (2019)
  • Women’s 4×100 freestyle relay bronze (2019)

With the Tokyo Olympics just a few months away, Swimming Canada made major changes to their Trials format, limiting entries in each event to 20 swimmers. On January 6th, the list of those 20 swimmers for each event was released. A few weeks later, however, Swimming Canada paused the selection process in order to reevaluate their plan, according to a source. On December 26th, 2020, enhanced lockdown procedures were enacted in Toronto, the host city for Trials. Some regions of Ontario have begun to phase out of the lockdown but some, including Toronto, have remained the same.

Canadian Olympic Trials had originally been scheduled for April 7-11 but has been pushed back by a few weeks and will now take place from May 24-28. Trials will still feature 20 swimmers per event but along with the change in date, Swimming Canada also announced that they would be changing their selection procedure for the Olympic squad.

Round one of the process occurred a few weeks when Swimming Canada named six swimmers to the Olympic team based on results from the last Olympics as well as results at meets such as the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2018 Pan Pacs, 2017 Worlds, and 2019 Worlds. The following six swimmers were named for these events:

Round two of the selection procedures will happen after Trials in May. According to their release last month, a Swimming Canada selection committee will meet following the meet and select the team based on the results of that meet.

The third and final round of selection will be based on an invitational meet in June where swimmers will get the chance to contest events that they were not selected for in the first two rounds.

The decision to pick their Olympic team through a selection committee is a deviation from how Swimming Canada has normally done things. According to their original selection criteria, the first priority was given to those who finish in the top two at Trials and swim under the FINA A time standard. After that, there were 4 additional ways that an athlete could be selected for the team.

Original Canadian Olympic Selection Criteria

  1. An Athlete who finishes 1st or 2nd at Trials and hit the FINA A standard
  2. An athlete who has hit the FINA A standard in the event between March 1, 2019, and April 6, 2021.
  3. An athlete who hits the FINA A standard in the event between April 7, 2021, and June 27, 2021.
  4. An athlete who has hit the FINA B in the event and receives an invite from FINA to the Olympics and swam a time within 1% of their fastest time in the qualification period.

While the update selection committee method does not strictly require the FINA A standard in order for an athlete to be selected for the team, it is likely that the standards will continue to play a significant part in the team’s selection. Among the Canadian women’s team, there have been 14 swimmers to hit the FINA A across 11 different events throughout the 2018/2019, 2019/2020, and 2020/2021 seasons. Within the same timeframe, 3 Canadian men have hit the standard across 3 different events:

Canadians Under The FINA A (2018/2019, 2019/2020, 2020/2021 seasons)

Women

100 Freestyle – FINA A: 54.38

  • Taylor Ruck: 53.03
  • Penny Oleksiak: 53.41
  • Kayla Sanchez: 53.61

200 Freestyle – FINA A: 1:57.28

  • Penny Oleksiak: 1:56.59
  • Taylor Ruck: 1:56.97
  • Emily Overholt: 1:57.26

400 Freestyle – FINA A: 4:06.27

  • Emily Overholt: 4:06.27

1500 Freestyle – FINA A: 16:32.04

  • Emma O’Croinin: 16:30.46

Note: Mackenzie Padington swam a 16:23.66 on April 3, 2019, which is under the FINA A and within the March 1, 2019 – April 6, 2021 time frame but she has since retired from the sport.

100 Backstroke: FINA A – 1:00.25

200 Backstroke: FINA A – 2:10.39

100 Breaststroke: FINA A – 1:07.07

200 Breaststroke: FINA A – 2:25.52

100 Butterfly: FINA A – 57.92

200 IM: FINA A – 2:12.56

400 IM: FINA – 4:38.53

Men

50 Freestyle: FINA A – 22.01

100 Backstroke: FINA A – 53.85

  • Markus Thormeyer – 53.35

200 Backstroke: FINA A – 1:57.50

  • Markus Thormeyer – 1:57.42

200 IM: FINA A – 1:59.67

  • Finlay Knox – 1:59.44

This list of Canadians who have been under the FINA A in recent years is significantly smaller than the number of Canadians who hit FINA A standards in the lead up to the 2016 Olympics Trials which were held in early April. Between September 2014 and March 2016, 21 women and 12 men were under the 2016 A standards, covering nearly every Olympic event:

Canadians Under The FINA A (September 1, 2014 – April 4, 2016)

Women

50 Freestyle: FINA A – 25.28

  • Chantal van Landeghem: 24.39
  • Michelle Toro: 24.84
  • Sandrine Mainville: 25.12

100 Freestyle: FINA A – 54.43

  • Chantal van Landeghem: 53.83
  • Sandrine Mainville: 53.85
  • Taylor Ruck: 53.92
  • Michelle Toro: 54.21

200 Freestyle: FINA A – 1:58.96

  • Emily Overholt: 1:57.55
  • Taylor Ruck: 1:57.87
  • Katerine Savard: 1:58.70

400 Freestyle: FINA A – 4:09.08

  • Emily Overholt: 4:07.93

800 Freestyle: FINA A – 8:33.97

  • Brittany Maclean: 8:32.06

100 Backstroke: FINA A – 1:00.25

200 Backstroke: FINA A – 2:10.60

  • Dominique Bouchard: 2:08.16
  • Hilary Caldwell: 2:08.22
  • Taylor Ruck: 2:09.49
  • Kylie Masse: 2:09.70
  • Meryn McCann: 2:10.34

100 Breaststroke: FINA A – 1:07.85

  • Rachel Nicol: 1:07.10

200 Breaststroke: FINA A – 2:26.94

  • Kierra Smith: 2:22.82
  • Martha McCabe: 2:24.51
  • Ashley McGregor: 2:26.72

100 Butterfly: FINA A – 58.74

  • Katerine Savard: 57.52
  • Naomie Thomas: 58.00
  • Penny Oleksiak: 58.44

200 Butterfly: FINA A – 2:09.33

  • Audrey Lacroix: 2:07.63

200 IM: FINA A – 2:14.26

400 IM: FINA A – 4:43.46

  • Emly Overholt: 4:32.52
  • Sydney Pickrem: 4:38.03
  • Erika Seltenriech-Hodgson: 4:42.61

Men

50 Freestyle: FINA A – 22.27

  • Santo Condorelli: 22.04
  • Karl Krug: 22.21

100 Freestyle: FINA A – 48.99

  • Santo Condorelli: 47.98

200 Freestyle: FINA A – 1:47.97

  • Jeremy Bagshaw: 1:47.48

400 Freestyle: FINA A – 3:50.40

  • Ryan Cochrane: 3:44.59
  • Jeremy Bagshaw: 3:49.76

1500 Freestyle: FINA A – 15:14.77

  • Ryan Cochrane: 14:51.08
  • Nelson Kier Maitland: 15:12.47
  • Eric Hedlin: 15:13.25

100 Backstroke: FINA A – 54.36

  • Russel Wood: 53.96

100 Breaststroke: FINA A – 1:00.57

  • Richard Funk: 1:00.26

200 Breaststroke: FINA A – 2:11.66

  • Richard Funk: 2:11.51

200 Butterfly: FINA A – 1:56.97

  • Zack Chetrat: 1:56.90
  • Alec Page: 1:58.01
  • Mack Darragh: 1:59.03

400 IM: FINA A – 4:16.71

  • Luke Patrick Reilly: 4:16.16

Considering the number of FINA A standard that had been hit prior to Trials, Canada wound up sending a lower than expected number of men to the 2016 Olympics. Only 5 men qualified to swim individually. The women on the other hand sent a nearly full Olympic squad.

2016 Canadian Olympic Swim Team

Men

  • Javier Acevedo – 100 backstroke
  • Ryan Cochrane – 400 freestyle, 1500 freestyle
  • Ashton Baumann – 200 breaststroke
  • Santo Condorelli – 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 4×100 freestyle relay
  • Yuri Kisil – 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 4×100 freestyle relay
  • Evan Van Moerkerke – 4×100 freestyle relay
  • Markus Thormeyer – 4×100 freestyle relay

Women

  • Brittany MacLean – 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 800 freestyle, 4×200 freestyle relay
  • Penny Oleksiak – 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 4×100 freestyle relay, 4×200 freestyle relay, 4×100 medley relay
  • Noemie Thomas – 100 butterfly, (4×100 medley relay)
  • Kylie Masse – 100 back, 4×100 medley relay
  • Dominique Bouchard – 100 backstroke
  • Sydney Pickrem – 200 IM, 400 IM
  • Emily Overholt – 400 IM
  • Kierra Smith  – 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 4×100 medley relay
  • Rachel Nicol – 100 breaststroke
  • Audrey Lacroix – 200 butterfly
  • Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson – 200 IM
  • Chantal Van Landeghem – 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 4×100 freestyle relay *(4×100 medley relay)
  • Martha McCabe – 200 breaststroke
  • Hilary Caldwell – 200 backstroke
  • Michelle Williams – 50 freestyle, 4×100 freestyle relay
  • Katerine Savard – 4×200 freestyle relay
  • Kennedy Goss – 4×200 freestyle relay
  • Sandrine Mainville – 4×100 freestyle relay
  • Taylor Ruck – 4×200 freestyle relay

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Judy Goss
2 months ago

Missing Kennedy Goss 1:58.26 200 free at Olympic Trails and 200 back 2:09.64

Admin
Reply to  Judy Goss
2 months ago

Hi Judy,

The current list only includes times during the current qualiying period.

The 2016 list only includes times leading up to Trials, for a more apples-to-apples comparison.

Because Kennedy’s swims were at the Olympic Trials, not before the Olympic Trials, they are not included above.

Judy Goss
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

Got it

Northern Swim Parent
2 months ago

Thanks for the article.

Super happy to see Swim Canada giving athletes more opportunity to qualify!

Felixe Cote
2 months ago

Missing many swimmers for the 2018/2019 list that have been under the FINA A cut for the men’s, Tristan Cote, Mack Darragh, Cole Pratt

Admin
Reply to  Felixe Cote
2 months ago

Those swimmers have all been under the FINA “B” cuts, but I don’t see any “A” cuts for any of them in the qualifying period.

Mack has been faster than the “A” cut, but not in the qualifying period, which began March 1.

The FINA cuts are here – https://swimswam.com/theyrehere-initial-fina-qualification-times-for-2020-olympics/

Felixe Cote
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 months ago

Ahhh I see. Thought you were referring to the FINA A standard rather than the Olympic A standard. Thank you for clarifying!

Swimpaddles
Reply to  Felixe Cote
2 months ago

Goooooooooo Tristan, Mack & Cole! Canada is cheering loudly!!!