Canadian sprint star Santo Condorelli made his first Olympic team last night with a first place finish in the 100m freestyle, however Condorelli has bigger goals than that.
Now that he’s achieved nomination for the Canadian Olympic Team and pending Canadian Olympic Committee approval will compete in Rio, gold is in the forefront of his thoughts.
“Now it’s just focusing on going a lot faster than that if I want to keep my goal of getting that gold medal,” said Condorelli.
The USC Trojan who took this season off to train with Coley Stickles at Canyons Aquatic Club in Santa Clarita, California, clocked in a 48.16 winning time in the final.
While the time was fast compared to other global results, Condorelli has been faster than it twice this season, including the 48.09 performance he put up in the preliminary heats which qualified him for the final.
“I know I’m a lot better than that,” said Condorelli. “I’ve definitely gotten a lot stronger since last year and improved on my stroke way more than that reflects.”
Last season Condorelli turned heads when he became the first Canadian since 2012 100m freestyle bronze medallist Brent Hayden to go under 48-seconds in the 100m freestyle while leading off the silver medal winning 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Following that performance Condorelli proved the impact he has on the international stage with a fourth place finish in the 100m freestyle at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
There, Condorelli swam a 48.19 and missed the podium by only seven one-hundredths of a second.
Prior to the 48.09 he put up in the prelims at Canadian Trials, Condorelli had been faster than his worlds time once already in the 2015-16 season.
At the 2015 US Winter Nationals in Federal Way, Washington, Condorelli threw down a 48.05 100m freestyle which currently ranks him sixth in the world this season.
While the times he’s thrown down both at Trials and at US Nationals have proven to be fast internationally, Condorelli isn’t content with his performances and knows it will take more to win gold in Rio.
“I still make these little stupid mistakes…it’s costing me,” said Condorelli. “The race is so fast it’s all a matter of tenths and hundredths of a second, so can’t have those mistakes at all.”
Four swimmers this season have already been under 48-seconds in the 100m freestyle, and as the pages on the calendar slip away, Condorelli knows that it’s likely going to take faster than a personal best time for him to keep his dream alive of being crowned the 100m freestyle Olympic champion in Rio this summer.