2021 Canadian Olympic Trials: Day 1 Finals Live Recap


Canada is officially joining the action tonight in one of swimming’s busiest few weeks of racing around the globe.

The 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials will follow a unique format this year in order to comply with COVID-19 protocols in place in Toronto, Ontario. Each day will feature 2 prelims session beginning at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm EST daily, followed by a single finals session that starts at 5:30 pm.

Day 1 finals will begin with the women’s and men’s 100 butterfly, headlined by Canadian record holders on both sides. 2019 World Championships gold medalist Maggie MacNeil is the top seed for the women and holds the NR at a 55.83 from 2019. On the men’s side, Josh Liendo blasted a new Canadian record of 51.40 during prelims to take out Santo Condorelli‘s 2016 mark of 51.83.

In the 100 backstroke, we will see another set of national record holders in the form of Kylie Masse and Markus Thormeyer who had the top times of the morning.

Masse has already been selected for the Olympic squad in the women’s 100 backstroke but Thormeyer will need to earn a top 2 finish as he has only qualified thus far in the 200 backstroke. Thormeyer will be joined by fellow backstroker Cole Pratt who was only a fraction of a second behind during the prelims.

The last 2 events of the night will be the women’s and men’s 400 freestyle timed finals. 2016 Olympian Emily Overholt will be hoping to make her return to the team here and will be joined by a number of close competitors including junior Emma O’Croinin, Alyson Ackman, and Marit Anderson.

On the men’s side, all entrants will be hoping to make their first-ever Olympic team. Top seed Jeremy Bagshaw will need to crack his own entry time of 3:50.96 in order to get under the 3:46.78 FINA A and will be joined by the likes of Peter Brothers (3:53.20), Nathan Beaudin-Bolduc (3:54.07), among others.

Women’s 100 Butterfly – Final

  • Canadian Record: 55.83 – Maggie MacNeil (2019)
  • FINA A Standard: 57.92


  1. Maggie MacNeil – 56.19 Q
  2. Katerine Savard – 57.86 Q
  3. Rebecca Smith – 57.93

Maggie MacNeil didn’t need to win this race in order to make it to Tokyo, having been pre-selected by Swimming Canada based on her World Championships gold medal performance in 2019.

Despite that, MacNeil was here in the A final and delivered a 56.19 to take the gold medal which is a little bit over her 2019 winning time of 55.83 as well as her season-best of 56.14 from last month.

2 time Olympian for Canada Katerine Savard made her comeback to the sport complete here with a 57.86 to get under the FINA A cut of 57.92 and has likely qualified for her 3rd Olympic team. Savard has PB of 57.27 which she swam back in 2014.

Since her retirement from the sport after the 2016 Games and subsequent comeback, Savard has said that she’s been focussing on the freestyle events but that didn’t stop her from having a solid butterfly performance here.

Rebecca Smith came in with a 57.93 for third place which was just over the FINA A. That’s a little slower than her 2019 PB in the event of 57.59 which she swam at the World Championships 2 years ago. Smith has another few races to go this week and will be hoping to qualify for the Games in the freestyle events.

Men’s 100 Butterfly – Final

  • Canadian Record: 51.40 – Josh Liendo (2021)
  • FINA A Standard: 51.96


  1. Josh Liendo – 51.72 Q
  2. Finlay Knox – 52.65
  3. Keir Ogilvie – 53.28

After lowering the Canadian 100 butterfly record by nearly half a second to a 51.40 during the prelims, Josh Liendo returned tonight to win the national title in 51.72. While he was just a bit slower than his morning swim, he managed to get under the FINA A standard of 51.96.

That means that 18-year-old Liendo has officially qualified to swim at his first-ever Olympic Games. Liendo has represented Canada on the international stage forever, having won silver in the 100 freestyle with a 49.17 at the 2019 World Junior Championships.

Notably, Liendo formerly swam under Murray Drudge who died suddenly in February of 2020 and made the transition to the High-Performance Center, Ontario.

Liendo was the only man under the FINA A cut in the heat as 200 IM national record-holder Finlay Knox followed with a 52.65 for the silver medal. That was the first time Knox has been under 53 in the event, improving upon his 53.16 PB from the prelims.

Keir Ogilvie came in third for the bronze medal and also set his second PB of the day with a 53.28 to improve upon his 53.73 in the morning.

2016 Olympian Mack Darragh placed 4th with a 53.68, trailing his 53.18 PB from 2018. Darragh is known better as a 200 butterflier and will be contesting that event later in the meet.

Women’s 100 Backstroke – Final

  • Canadian Record: 58.10 – Kylie Masse (2017)
  • FINA A Standard: 1:00.25


  1. Kylie Masse – 57.70 Q
  2. Taylor Ruck – 59.60 Q
  3. Ingrid Wilm 1:00.19 A

Similar to Maggie MacNeil in the 100 fly, Kylie Masse had already qualified to swim the 100 back in Tokyo but came into the final and posted a new Canadian record of 57.70.

That swim was 0.40 seconds quicker than her former NR of 58.10 which she set back in 2017 and was a world record at the time. The current world record in the event sits at a 57.45 which Australian Kaylee McKeown swam last week at the Australian Olympic Trials. That also makes Masse the second-fastest woman in the world this season.

Masse is now the 3rd fastest swimmer ever, trailing McKeown and former world record holder Regan Smith who posted a 57.57 at the 2019 World Championships.

Joining Masse in Tokyo will be Taylor Ruck who swam a 59.60 for silver which is a bit above her best time in the event of 58.55 from 2019. Her finals time was nearly a second faster than her prelims swim in the event of 1:00.49. Ruck is also qualified to race the 100 freestyle in Tokyo.

Ingrid Wilm was also under the FINA A with a bronze medal swim of 1:00.19 but won’t be on the Olympic team due to the 2-person limit. Mary-Sophie Harvey rounded out the top 4 with a 1:00.67 while Danielle Hanus was a 1:01.39 for 5th.

Men’s 100 Backstroke – Final


  1. Markus Thormeyer – 53.40 Q
  2. Cole Pratt – 53.54 Q
  3. Javier Acevedo – 54.59

Markus Thormeyer has added a second event to his Olympic lineup with a national title in the 100 backstroke of 53.40. That’s under the FINA A cut of 53.85 and only 0.05 seconds off his Canadian record of 53.35 from back in 2019.

The 2016 Olympian had already been selected for his second Olympic team in the 200 backstroke and will now race the 100 as well.

Cole Pratt touched right behind Thormeyer here with a 53.54 to also get under the FINA A cut and likely add his name to the Canadian Olympic roster.

This will be Pratt’s first-ever Olympic team, having previously raced for Canada at the 2019 World Championships. There he raced to a 26th place finish in the 200 back (2:00.45) and a 26th place finish in the 200 IM (2:04.26).

2016 Olympian for Canada in the 100 backstroke Javier Acevedo was shut out of the top 2 here, hitting a 54.49 to take bronze. That’s well over his 53.64 PB from back in 2017. Acevedo raced to victory in this event at 2016 Olympic Trials and went on to place 17th overall with a 54.11.

Women’s 400 Freestyle – Final

  • Canadian Record: 4:03.43 – Brittany MacLean (2016)
  • FINA A Standard: 4:07.90


  1. Alyson Ackman – 4:10.92
  2. Emily Overholt – 4:11.91
  3. Emma O’Croinin – 4:12.10

Alyson Ackman won the gold medal in the women’s 400 freestyle with a 4:10.92 which was a bit slower than the 4:07.90 that she needed to get consideration for the Olympic squad.

Ackman has been a national teamer for Canada since back in 2014 when she swam at the Pan Pacific Championships. She retired from the sport in 2016, made a comeback in January 2019, and shortly after, represented Canada at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima.

With no one under the FINA A standard, 14-year-old Summer McIntosh looks like the favorite to get the nod in the event for Canada this summer. According to the selection criteria, McIntosh is able to be selected for the team based on her recent result of 4:05.13 in May 2021.

Her goal was to qualify for the Olympic Games but said in a post-race interview that she was happy with the national title.

2016 Olympian Emily Overholt managed to come in with a 4:11.91 for second place, also trailing the FINA A standard. Overholt swam to a 25th place finish in the event with a 4:16.24. Overholt’s PB in the event sits at a 4:06.27 from February 2019 which is under the FINA A.

Emma O’Croinin was close behind Overholt and touched 0.19 seconds later for 3rd place overall with a 4:12.10 which is 4 seconds off her PB in the event of 4:08.11.

Men’s 400 Freestyle – Final

  • Canadian Record: 3:43.36 – Ryan Cochrane (2011)
  • FINA A Standard: 3:46.78


  1. Peter Brothers – 3:49.35
  2. Jeremy Bagshaw – 3:50.10
  3. Alex Axon – 3:53.66

As was the case in the women’s event, no one got under the FINA A in the men’s 400 freestyle. Peter Brothers won the heat with a 3:49.35 to shave nearly 2 seconds off his entry time of 3:51.26 but still over the FINA A cut of 3:46.78.

Brothers remarked that he would have liked to be a bit faster but that he was happy with the race.

Jeremy Bagshaw was less than a second slower than Brothers with a 3:50.10 which is a little bit slower than the 3:48.82 that he swam at the 2017 World Swimming Championships.

Rounding out the podium, Alex Axon delivered 3:53.66 to get under his PB of 3:54.23 and Eric Brown came in right after with a 3:53.98. That swim for Brown was well under his prior PB of 4:00.82.

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1 year ago

Ruck didn’t even make the final for the 200 free going a pretty terrible 2:01.06

Elaine McCluskey
1 year ago

I wonder if the women’s 400 Free winner would have made the time if it was not a Timed Final. No coaches, no spectators, and a timed final.

Reply to  Elaine McCluskey
1 year ago

Why would they be more likely to make the time if they had to swim 2 rounds?

Elaine McCluskey
Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Many people go faster in finals. They also know what their prelim time was.

M d e
1 year ago

Monster swim from Masse.

Suddenly not looking like a 2 horse race.

SwimFan NU
1 year ago

Even more impressive is the lack of competition for Canadians in general. Aussies had nationals in April, Americans had US Open and Pro Swim Series to prepare. To see Canadians (especially Masse with the 57.7) going so fast with just 2 time trials AND being out of the water for so long with all the restrictions is really promising for what we might see in Tokyo.

Props to the men too for stepping it up. It’s so nice to see so many younger men stepping up and getting their names on the team. Paris could see a very strong Canadian team for both the men and women

1 year ago

Once again…if the US and OZ think it’s a match in 2. Think again
Canadians Asians Europeans Africans come from everywhere.
I wouldn’t expect anything less

Reply to  Stephen
1 year ago


1 year ago

Tomorrow has the 200 free and 100 breast so we’ll see what the Canadian ladies are bringing in the 4×200 and what their weakest leg is in the medley relay.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Yes if Canadians get a big drop in the Breast, they move into contention for Med relay come Tokyo.

Reply to  Stephen
1 year ago

They already in contention, it whether they up with Aussies & the US.

1 year ago

Slow 400 free. McIntosh qualifies?

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Yes. She is in contention for bronze with another big drop, too.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

Not so fast…Akman ‘won’ the event and under the B standard… If she got the A then they could enter both. Now they can only enter one…

Reply to  Njones
1 year ago

Announce team was making it pretty clear Summers getting the spot.

I don’t think they’d select Akman anyway, she wouldn’t have even finaled in the US trials.

1 year ago

Happy for Ruck to qualify on Night 1. Hopefully will take the pressure off and she’ll be able to just see what she can do for the rest of the week.

Kylie is nowhere near washed up! Looks amazing.

Men’s team looking to build a good amount of talent for 2024. Finals is in reach for some of these guys and if they stay on their trajectory, maybe some medals over the next quad or two.

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
1 year ago

Anyone who considered Masse “washed up” at any point was clearly short-sighted. Her medal records at major meets alone earned her a seat at the table along with her PB. McKeown & Dawson have certainly added to the mix but Masse has never gone away.

Reply to  commonwombat
1 year ago

I definitely agree! I think she’s been overlooked a bit by some others as the next Shiny New Objects in the 100 Bk have come up, but her experience and natural power can’t be denied.