Tonight marks the finals session of the 2016 Canadian Olympic Trials where the official Canadian Olympic squad for Rio will be announced, which means there are still some spots on the line that will be decided tonight.
Mack Darragh has one of the most interesting storylines of the Trials. He’s in a position where he could be added to the roster for the 2016 Olympic Games, but nothing is certain.
Despite winning the 100 and 200m butterfly events, Darragh hasn’t made it under the FINA ‘A’ standard and thus hasn’t made the team in an individual event. Where he could make the team is as a member of the 4x100m medley relay.
Under priority five of the qualification criteria, Darragh does seem to be in a position to go to Rio.
“The first place finisher in each of the 100m events shall be nominated provided that the sum of their times posted in the finals at the Trials, minus 1.8 seconds, achieves the Relay Qualification Time. In the instance that the same swimmers finishes first in two or more 100m events, the times of the second place swimmer shall be considered. The second place time that produces the fastest total time will be used for the purpose of nomination.”
A lot rides on tonight however, as the Canadian 4x100m medley relay hasn’t yet qualified for Rio. The Canadian relay team will be swimming the race at the end of the session to try and make the Olympic qualifying time.
It hasn’t been stated that Darragh is on the relay, but based solely on the priority five qualification criteria it’s likely that he will be swimming the fly leg.
WOMEN’S 50 FREESTYLE
It looks as though the women’s 50m freestyle won’t have any new qualifiers for Rio. The top three seeds have in the event have already made the team.
The 50 is one of those races where anything can happen; somebody can have a good race, take down some leaders, and secure their spot on the team. The two swimmers who possibly could do that tonight are Leah Troskot and Riki Bonnema who qualified fourth and fifth.
While they will need to swim faster than they did this morning to get under the FINA ‘A’ standard and beat some top level competitors, nothing is out of the question.
MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE
With the FINA ‘A’ standard sitting at 22.27, the only swimmer who appears to be within range who isn’t top seed Santo Condorelli or second seed Yuri Kisil (who both already made the team) is Karl Krug.
Krug has represented Canada internationally with his raw speed and will be looking for his final crack to make the Olympic team. He was a 22.60 this morning to take the third Canadian seed overall.
WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE
Both Dominique Bouchard and Kylie Masse, who both already made the team earlier this meet in the 100m backstroke, will be featured in tonight’s 200m backstroke final. Both however are seeded behind Hilary Caldwell.
If Caldwell swims the way she did this morning, she’s almost a lock for Rio. Caldwell swam the sixth fastest 200 backstroke this season in the heats and has high hopes for tonight’s final.
MEN’S 200m IM
While the top three seeds were well off the FINA ‘A’ standard of 2:00.28 this morning, there is a chance that a Canadian could make the team tonight. Evan White has been under 2:00 in his career, and Lule Reilly has proven to be very quick in the IM races.
Throw in Mack Darragh of Oakville who won both the 100 and 200m butterfly swims earlier this meet and it will be a dogfight to see if anyone can get under that standard.
MEN’s 1500m FREESTYLE
Ryan Cochrane is going to Rio, but the question remains whether Canada will be able to send two swimmers in this event (assuming Cochrane comes first tonight). Rafael Davila, Peter Brothers, Eric Hedlin, and Kier Maitland are all in the battle to go under the FINA ‘A’ standard of 15:14.77.
Whoever stays closest to Cochrane will likely get an Olympic berth if they’re able to hold on and get under the standard.