2021 Canadian Olympic Trials
- June 19-23, 2021
- Toronto Pan Am Sports Center, Toronto, ON
- LCM (50m)
- Meet Central
- Olympic Selection Process
- Psych Sheets
- Live results
The psych sheets for the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials have dropped, and there are several noteworthy entries (or non-entries) on the list.
For a quick refresher, the Trials have twice been postponed, first from April to May, and then from May to June, with the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center confirmed as the host of the June 19-23 event on May 20.
The first postponement announcement included Swimming Canada nominating six swimmers to the Olympic team by virtue of their performances at the 2019 World Championships. All six swimmers were finalists in the respective event(s) they were named to the Olympic team in.
They are as follows:
- Kylie Masse – women’s 100 backstroke, 200 backstroke
- Maggie MacNeil – women’s 100 butterfly
- Sydney Pickrem – women’s 200 breaststroke, 200 IM, 400 IM
- Penny Oleksiak – women’s 200 freestyle
- Taylor Ruck – women’s 100 freestyle
- Markus Thormeyer – men’s 200 backstroke
In order for those six swimmers to add one or more events to their program in Tokyo, they’ll have to qualify like everyone else. All six have notably entered all of the events in which they’ve already qualified in as well.
OLEKSIAK FORGOES 100 FLY
Penny Oleksiak, who won a record four medals at the 2016 Olympics at the age of 16, has notably opted not to compete in the women’s 100 butterfly, the event in which she is the reigning Olympic silver medalist.
Oleksiak won silver behind world record holder Sarah Sjostrom in Rio (who may also not be competing in the event this summer) in a time of 56.46, a Canadian and World Junior Record at the time.
That swim remains Oleksiak’s best time – she’s cracked 57 seconds once since Rio, placing fourth at the 2017 World Championships, but her fastest since the beginning of 2019 was a 58.30 done in March of last year. At Canada’s 2019 World Trials, Oleksiak finished third in the event in 58.61, with eventual world champion Maggie MacNeil (57.04) and Rebecca Smith (58.30) going 1-2 to leave Oleksiak off the Worlds team in the event.
Oleksiak has intimated as much in the past, saying the 100 and 200 freestyle were her primary focuses back in December, and those will be the only two events she’ll race at the Trials.
Still just 20 years old, Oleksiak’s sixth-place finish in the 200 free at the 2019 Worlds has earned her an Olympic spot in that event already, so the only thing really on the line for her at Trials is whether or not she’ll earn a second individual berth in the 100 freestyle – where she’s the defending Olympic champion (along with American Simone Manuel). In that event, she’ll battle the likes of MacNeil, Smith and Kayla Sanchez for the second spot, as Taylor Ruck has locked up the first.
MCINTOSH OPTS OUT OF 400 FREE
The most surprising entry omission for the meet came from 14-year-old rising star Summer McIntosh, who has been on an absolute tear so far this year.
McIntosh has not entered the 400 free – the event in which she dropped a scintillating 4:05.13 in at the end of May – and instead will race the 200, 800 and 1500 free.
The Etobicoke Swimming product ranks ninth in the world for the 2020-21 season in the event, while in the others, she doesn’t crack the top-25.
However, McIntosh has already achieved the Olympic qualifying FINA ‘A’ standard in the 400 free, something she hasn’t done in either the 200 or 800. Per Swimming Canada’s selection criteria, McIntosh could still be named to the team in the 400 free if there is an open spot in the event after Trials, meaning, if two women don’t go under the ‘A’ time (also provided there are roster spots left on the team, if she hadn’t already earned one).
Emily Overholt is the only swimmer entered with a time under the ‘A’ cut of 4:07.90 in 4:06.27, a time she did in February 2019, and Emma O’Croinin is entered just a tad slower than the standard in 4:08.11, a time she produced to win silver at the 2019 World Juniors.
McIntosh is officially seeded fourth in the 800 free, though her opening split from a 1500 in early May (8:35.30) would rank first, and in the 1500, she leads the pack by 15 seconds.
Swimming Canada’s criteria also says that selection in the 800 and 1500 free events will be based on all FINA approved Olympic Qualification Events between May 1 and June 23, not necessarily how the finishers stack up at Trials. So, in theory, unless two swimmers went under McIntosh’s 16:15.19 at Trials, she wouldn’t even have to race that event in order to earn an Olympic spot.
As for the 200 free, that race projects to be a great battle with six swimmers seeded 1:57.8 or better. McIntosh sits fifth, having gone 1:57.65 in early May.
- Taylor Ruck is scheduled to take on a busy five-event lineup, adding the 50 free to her usual 100/200 free and 100/200 back. The 100 free is the only event she’s assured herself a spot in thus far.
- 2019 world champion Maggie MacNeil won’t swim the 50 free, and instead will take on the 100 free and 100 back, in addition to the 100 fly where she’s already earned a roster spot.
- Sydney Pickrem, the only swimmer to already have three events confirmed for Tokyo, has added the 100 breaststroke to her lineup, along with the others (200 breast, 200/400 IM).
- Kylie Masse, the reigning world champion and Olympic bronze medalist in the women’s 100 backstroke, will take on both backstroke races that she’s already qualified for the Games in, and the 50 free.
- The only male already on the team, Markus Thormeyer, will not take on the 200 free, an event he won at the 2019 World Trials (the Canadian men did not qualify the 800 free relay for Tokyo). Thormeyer will race the 100 free and 100 back in addition to the 200 back where he’s already qualified.
- Mary-Sophie Harvey, who won a pair of medals for Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games and has been a fixture on the Energy Standard club through the first two seasons of the International Swimming League, has entered in six events: 200/400 free, 100 back, 200 fly, and 200/400 IM. Harvey won the 200 fly at the 2019 Canadian World Trials, and has been under the ‘A’ cut in both medley events earlier in her career.
- Emily Overholt, a 2016 Olympic finalist in the 400 IM, is seeded second to Pickrem in that event, and also has entered the 200 free and 200 fly, along with the aforementioned 400 free.
- Three-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Brent Hayden, who announced his return to the sport after a seven-year retirement in 2019, is entered to race both the men’s 50 and 100 freestyle. The same goes for Yuri Kisil, who was 10th in the 100 free in Rio.
- One of the rising stars on the men’s team, Cole Pratt, has entered the 100/200 free, 100/200 back and 200 IM, which leaves him out of the 200 fly and 400 IM. Pratt was third in the 200 fly at 2019 World Trials in 1:59.89, and in the 400 IM, qualified third in the prelims in 4:22.41 before scratching the final. Finlay Knox will also forgo the 400 IM, entering the 100 free, 100 fly and 200 IM.