Canada’s Sydney Pickrem Expected to Scratch 200 Breaststroke in Tokyo

2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Sources have told SwimSwam that Canada’s Sydney Pickrem will scratch the 200 breaststroke heats to focus on the 200 IM final. That’s in spite of the 200 breaststroke heats coming the evening after the morning 200 IM final in Wednesday’s schedule.

The Canadian women still have not declared who the breaststroker will be on their upcoming 400 medley relay.

Pickrem was entered in three events in Tokyo: she was seeded sixth in the 400 IM, second in the 200 IM, and eighth in the 200 breast. On Saturday, the first day of competition in the pool, Pickrem pulled out of the 400 IM “due to medical reasons not related to COVID-19.”

Pickrem was pre-selected to Canada’s roster in the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 breaststroke, without even needing to perform at Trials, and has now scratched two of those races.

Pickrem did swim in prelims of the 200 IM two days later, on Monday evening in Tokyo. Coming into the meet with a seed time of 2:08.61, she was one of only four athletes entered with a sub-2:09.

Pickrem’s entry time of 2:08.61 dated from the FINA Champions Series Indianapolis in 2019. In Monday night’s prelims, she went 2:10.13 to qualify sixth for the semifinals. On Tuesday morning, she again finished sixth, this time with 2:09.94, to earn a spot in Wednesday morning’s final.

Heats of the women’s 200 breast are scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening, after finals of the 200 IM. Kelsey Wog, seeded tenth, will be Canada’s lone entrant now. Kierra Smith, who is already on the Canadian roster for the 100 breaststroke, does have an “Olympic A” cut in the 200 breaststroke, but Canada would have had to make that switch at the technical meeting late last week.

Top 10 Seeds in the Women’s 200 Breaststroke, Tokyo Olympics:

  1. Tatjana Schoenmaker, South Africa – 2:20.17
  2. Annie Lazor, USA – 2:20.77
  3. Molly Renshaw, Great Britain – 2:20.89
  4. Evgeniia Chikunova, Russian Olympic Commitee – 2:21.07
  5. Lilly King, USA – 2:21.39
  6. Abbie Wood, Great Britain – 2:21.69
  7. Lisa Mamie, Switzerland – 2:22.05
  8. Sydney Pickrem, Canada – 2:22.63
  9. Mariia Temnikova, Russian Olympic Committee – 2:22.76
  10. Kelsey Wog, Canada – 2:22.82


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1 month ago

I mean hey it’s better than starting the race and getting out at the 50…

Reply to  leisurely1:29
1 month ago

Weak, old news, and no need.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  NJones
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

Sure. And I’ll say it again. A mishap from 4yrs ago has no impact on today. I don’t know why she would scratch the 2 breast since it’s after the 2IM, unless she is struggling health wise and/or Canada may want her to step into the medley relay. Other swimmers have done the same dropping events (Hossa, McKean, British 100 freestylers, etc) in order to narrow focus on key events.

Your comment again is an unnecessary dig at a world class hard working swimmer who had one unfortunate issue at a meet 4yrs so.

Bill G
1 month ago

Swimming hurt? Pulled groin or back strain? As the article points out, it doesn’t make sense to scratch the 200m breastroke to focus on the 200m IM since the breaststroke doesn’t start until after the IM is over.

Reply to  Bill G
1 month ago

Taking W
ogs place on medley relay?

Bill G
Reply to  bob
1 month ago

Maybe? Secret Pickrem prep for the 100m breastroke? I doubt it …. Would Canada press release the scratch of the 400 IM due to non-Covid medical reasons if that wasn’t the case?

Might be hard to keep Wog off the relay after she drops 2.42 seconds off her 200m breastroke PB and goes 2:20.00 in Tokyo.(insert appropriate emoji here).

1 month ago

Maybe Canada should have taken someone who swam at Trials.

Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Kelsey Wog won the trials with an A cut, Kierra Smith finished 2nd but failed to make the A cut. It wasn’t a controversy at the time to keep the 2nd spot with Pickrem. Many of us are curious as to if Pickrem is sick or injured

Reply to  Matterson
1 month ago

Hmmm. Bummer for Canada.
Meanwhile, here’s what a real injured Olympian does.comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

So what is up?

Bo Swims
1 month ago

I think the 400 IM and 200 Breast scratches are for different reasons…

400IM was mental health related and 200 Breast is to have her fresh on the Relay. Canada wants a relay gold.

Bill G
1 month ago

Pickrem is swimming the 4×200 relay prelims. Canada going with Savard-Smith-Harvevy-Pickrem in prelims. Resting Oleksian and McIntosh. Sanchez could also come in here – she has the 100m free today.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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