Despite Scratching 100 Free Final, Yuri Kisil Will Likely Race It In Tokyo


Prior to the day 4 finals session at the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials, top seed in the 100 freestyle Yuri Kisil injured his arm while warming up for his race. Kisil was actually the second man to scratch the event after prelims as Brent Hayden announced that he would not swim at night due to back pain.

A spokesperson for Swimming Canada told SwimSwam that Kisil jumped and swung his arms during warmup, banging his elbow and forearm area.

Kisil swam a 48.43 during the prelims which made him the only swimmer in the field under the 48.57 FINA A standard and was joined in the top 4 by Ruslan Gaziev with a 48.92, Josh Liendo with a 49.24, Markus Thormeyer with a 49.34. Hayden on the other hand swam a 50.09 for 8th place in the prelims.

Had he swum in the final, the 100 freestyle would have been Kisil’s best shot for automatic Olympic consideration as he would have needed to place within the top 2 and repeat a sub-FINA A swim. Kisil recently missed out on making the Tokyo team in the 50 freestyle by placing 3rd to Hayden and Liendo with a 22.15.

In Kisil’s absence, Josh Liendo raced to victory in a time of 48.13 to become Canada’s 3rd fastest man in the history of the event as well as the 15th fastest man this year.

Ruslan Gaziev placed 2nd in a final with a 48.81 and Markus Thormeyer came in with a 49.24 for third place. The interesting thing to note here is that Gaziev was not under the FINA A cut which means that he won’t be given an automatic nomination to the team, leaving the second spot after Liendo open.

The Swimming Canada spokesperson said that he couldn’t speak as to the selection potential beyond what was in the published documents.

According to Swimming Canada’s selection criteria, the highest priority selection goes to the top 2 finishers under the FINA A cut in the final. If there are not 2 sub-FINA A swimmers in the A final, priority 5 selection will come into play:

Priority 5 – Where an event has no nominated swimmers or only one nominated swimmer from Priority 1, Priority 2, and Priority 3, swimmers who have achieved the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT ‘A’) (appendix A) at FINA Approved Olympic Qualification Events between 1 st March 2019 to 23rd June 2021 will be ranked and will be nominated in rank order up to a maximum of two swimmers per event per gender-inclusive of the swimmers who were nominated under Priority 1, Priority 2 and Priority 3. Prior to nomination, all potential nominees from Priority 5 will undergo a review for Competitive Readiness.

That stipulation in the selection criteria means that in the absence of 2 swims under 48.57 in the A final, Swimming Canada will have to look at the national rankings in the event from March 1, 2019 – June 23, 2021.

After Liendo’s 48.13 in the final, Kisil’s 48.43 prelims swim sits atop those rankings, and Brent Hayden‘s 48.47 represents the only other time under the FINA A within the period. That makes it likely that barring any long-term effects from the injury that kept him out of the final, Kisil looks to be next in line for individual selection. If Kisil’s injury keeps him out of contention, Brent Hayden would be the next eligible man assuming he gets his back in shape enough to add the 100 to his Olympic program.

If injury stops both Kisil and Hayden from joining Liendo in the 100 free in Tokyo, it would be up to Swimming Canada as to whether or not they add 2nd place finisher Ruslan Gaziev to the team based on his 48.81 swim in the final.

In addition to the 2 individual spots that are available, Canada will also likely send 4 men to race the 4×100 relay which they recently qualified to race in Tokyo. Liendo is likely a lock for the team and should they also nominate Kisil, Hayden, and Gaziev, that would give them 4 sub-49 men on the 4×100 freestyle relay. Canada hasn’t produced 4 sub-48 relay split on the 4×100 relay at a World Championships or Olympic Games since the 2009 World Championships.

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1 year ago

Who will they take for men’s 400 free relay? Any alternates?

Reply to  Ghost
1 year ago

I’m guessing they will have to be really careful with this as they’ll need the ‘fastest 4’ to get into the final, ie they can’t afford to rest swimmers unlike the women. Question is after Josh the next 4 are Yuri 48.4, Brent 48.4, Ruslan 48.9 and Marcus. If they assign Yuri the 2nd Ind spot then only Ruslan is a relay only swimmer, meaning he ‘has’ to swim at least 1 leg somewhere. Tough call as the time-only answer is Josh, Brent, Yuri and Marcus (past years), but to manage Brent and Yuri’s health a 5th option is likely needed.

Reply to  njones
1 year ago

The 4 will be Josh, Yuri, Brent and Ruslan for sure. If they enter Yuri in the 100, they only have one relay only swimmer in Ruslan. They would even have an alternate with Markus swimming the backstrokes. Easy peasy!

The unoriginal Tim
1 year ago

Wow it’s soft up in Canada. Hope he doesn’t bang his arm again in Tokyo.

Layne 4
1 year ago

YAY MISSILE! See you in Tokyo!

Mrs. Swimming
1 year ago

They cannot add Ruslan as a 2nd individual 100 freestyler because he isn’t under the ‘A’ standard, but I expect they’ll add him for the 4×100 relay especially given the uncertainty around Kisil’s & Hayden’s health.

Reply to  Mrs. Swimming
1 year ago