Canada Will Send Olympic Gold Medalist Penny Oleksiak to Jr World Championships

Swimming Canada has announced a 14-swimmer team for the 2017 World Junior Championships. The meet will be held from August 23rd-28th in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States and include most of the best male swimmers aged 15-18 and female swimmers aged 14-17 in the world.

While the meet is designed to be the best-of-the-best junior in the world, countries often hold back their pre-eminent swimmers to preserve their focus for senior meets. But this year, with a month from the senior championships in Budapest in July to the junior championships, and such a short-haul flight south, Olympic champion Penny Oleksiak will be among the Canadians representing at the meet. Oleksiak won 4 medals at the 2016 Olympic Games, including an individual gold in the 100 free and individual silver in the 100 fly.

Double Olympic relay medalist Taylor Ruck, who lives in the United States, will also be on the team, as will senior World Championship team members Kayla Sanchez and rebecca Smith.

Canada won 12 medals at the last edition of the World Junior Championships in 2015, with Ruck winning gold in the 100 and 200 free, and Oleksiak taking silver in the 50 and 100 fly and 100 free.

Ben Titley‘s performance group from Ontario is responsible for 3 of the above-mentioned athletes (Smith, Sanchez, and Oleksiak). Two other coaches have put a pair on the squad: Brad Dingey sends swimmers Jade Hannah and Faith Knelson from his NextGen Victoria squad at Island Swimming; while Sean Baker will send sisters Mabel Zavaros and Rosie Zavaros from the Oakville Aquatic Club.

Dingey is being sent on the team coaching staff for his efforts, as are Tina Hoeben and Dave Johnson.

See the full roster, including staff, below:

Indianapolis 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships


Team Last Name, First Name Club Coach
1 GAZIEV, Ruslan Etobicoke Swim Club Kevin Thorburn
2 HANNAH, Jade Island Swimming Club/NextGen-VIC Brad Dingey
3 KNELSON, Faith Island Swimming Club/NextGen-VIC Brad Dingey
4 KWAN, Victoria Markham Aquatic Club Robert Novak
5 LEFRANC, Jaren Kisu Swim Club Tina Hoeben
6 MASTROMATTEO, Gabe Kenora Swimming Jenet Hyslop
7 OLEKSIAK, Penny Toronto Swim Club/HPC-ON Ben Titley
8 PAVICEVIC, Katja Toronto Swim Club Bill O’Toole
9 PRATT, Alexander Cascade Swim Club Dave Johnson
10 RUCK, Taylor Unattached Canada Kevin Zacher
11 SANCHEZ, Kayla Noelle Ajax Aquatic Club/HPC-ON Ben Titley
12 SMITH, Rebecca Scarborough Swim Club/HPC-ON Ben Titley
13 ZAVAROS, Mabel Oakville Aquatic Club Sean Baker
14 ZAVAROS, Rosie Oakville Aquatic Club Sean Baker
Coaches Last Name Club
1 DINGEY, Brad (Head Coach) NextGen-VIC
2 HOEBEN, Tina Kisu Swim Club
3 JOHNSON, Dave Cascade Swim Club
Staff Last Name
1 MCKINNON, Ken (Team Leader)

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What filthy female relays they are going to have


So she has a shoulder problem and she is going to train all summer? I suppose she can take a break in the fall but I’m still thinking this is a mistake


Had a minor shoulder injury, which is gone by now according to multiple people. One minor injury that doesn’t require surgery doesn’t indicate a shoulder problem.


Dunno, dude. Especially in the morning prelims, it looked like Oleksiak’s freestyle was showing signs of a marked, halted asymmetry. Don’t think we should be encouraging developing talents to play through pain just to get results and more funding.


The High Performance Center has access an entire team of sport focused doctors. I’m sure they can figure out whether their athletes are ready for competition or not. And what signs are you talking about?

Considering she was on injury recovery until late February or so, and she’s not training full-time this year (she trained full-time last year), she’s doing pretty good for this point in the season. 3rd fastest in the world so far in the 100m butterfly.


I did say freestyle, right? I’m curious, you did notice Oleksiak swimming Butterfly during the 50 Free prelims?? Of course, she was just having fun, right??? Goofing around… Not taking the competition so seriously… Definitely not avoiding swimming Freestyle because it causes her discomfort… And maybe doctors can’t do a whole hell of a lot if the athlete is bound and determined to keep on keeping on, no matter the cost. Young athletes always think the pain will just go away, that they’re too young for debilitating injuries and that they can just work through it. Belief in youthful invulnerability is a young competitor’s worst enemy. Mate it to competition with an ever expanding roster of fast young talent, all… Read more »

Coach John

hey… peter pessimist, you’re reading way too much into this.


Or maybe it’s becuase a: she just doesn’t have the starting speed to compete with Canada’s older athletes in the 50 free (same as last year), b: as a qualifier in the 100 fly, she has the option to also compete in the 50 fly as long as she can make the a standard (which she did twice in the 50 free event by swimming fly), and c: it’s good practice for her starts in the 100 fly, which she’ll need if she wants to chase after Sarah this summer. And if anything, the butterfly would be rougher on shoulders… I’m guessing.


Well, Ben, guess I’ll just accept your assurances that everything’s fine. Everybody’s healthy and happy; God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world. Brilliant!


Is this the Ben that coaches the HP Ontario Group??? If so the coaching approach MUST be Correct!

16 year old with a shoulder and a head injury racing 3 years out from the next Olympics’.
Bright Move!!


Fairly certain that if her shoulder is sound enough to swim fly than it should hold up on free. She could have scratched the 50 entirely if she was in pain.

IMs for days

One question, Why?


Why not


Because she has had both a Concussion injury and a shoulder problem and more then 3 years out from the next Olympics.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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