Swimming Canada Announces 26-Member Olympic Roster

2021 CANADIAN OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

24 pool and two open water swimmers were officially named to the 2021 Canadian Olympic team on Thursday morning, with Swimming Canada making the announcement via Facebook Live.

With the five-day Canadian Olympic Trials wrapping up on Wednesday night, a total of 16 swimmers had achieved the Olympic ‘A’ qualifying standards during the Trials, including the six swimmers that received early nomination, meaning Swimming Canada added eight more athletes to its roster.

“It’s been the longest Olympic year on record,” said High Performance Director John Atkinson, who will serve as the “Team Leader” at the Games. “To get to the point that we can name our nominations to the Canadian Olympic Committee is a great step. The athletes who have made the team have shown their adaptability and resilience for the last 15 months and have shown that they are ready to compete with the best in the world.”

“The focus shifts to preparing in Vancouver at UBC for the final staging camp, leaving no stone unturned so that every team member can continue to progress and improve from their Trials performances when they compete in Tokyo. Having seen what they have done over the last five days, I know that they can thrive in the environment in Tokyo.”

EARLY NOMINATIONS (6)

Among the six swimmers that were named to the team back in January, three of them added individual events to their schedule in Tokyo at the Trials. The swimmers were only named to the team in event(s) in which they both finished in the top-eight at the 2019 World Championships and were the top Canadian finisher.

Defending Olympic gold medalist Penny Oleksiak added the women’s 100 freestyle to her 200 free entry, Taylor Ruck added the women’s 100 and 200 backstroke to her 100 free slot, and Markus Thormeyer added the men’s 100 back after qualifying early in the 200 back.

ADDITIONAL INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS DURING TRIALS (10)

Among this group, Summer McIntosh is expected to be given the opportunity to enter both the women’s 400 and 1500 freestyle at the Games as well, with less than two women going under the ‘A’ cut at Trials and having been under herself within the qualifying period.

Brent Hayden comes in with the most Olympic experience on the team, with this being his fourth Olympic Games, having made his debut in 2004, retiring after 2012 in London, and announcing his comeback in late 2019.

Katerine Savard, who has had an up and down last five years in the pool, made a triumphant return to top form and will make her third straight Olympic appearance for Canada.

“After 2016 I had a couple of difficult years, I didn’t believe I’d be able to return to the level of performance that I had known,” said Savard. “I had a hard time setting new goals, new dreams.

“I chose, as my dream, to compete in my third Olympics. I trained really hard and honestly, I surprised myself. I didn’t believe I had it in me to do everything I did this week. I’m proud of myself and can’t wait to see what I can do in Tokyo.”

SWIMMERS ADDED TO TEAM (8)

Among the eight names that Swimming Canada added to the team overnight, Ruslan Gaziev and Javier Acevedo got the nod as the second and fourth-place finishers in the men’s 100 freestyle, with the Canadian men qualified to swim the 400 free relay in Tokyo.

Yuri Kisil was the top seeded swimmer entering that 100 free final, but ended up injuring himself in warmup and had to pull out just minutes prior to the event. With Kisil’s prelim time of 48.43 under the FINA ‘A’ standard of 48.57, and only Joshua Liendo (48.13) going under during the final, Kisil will likely earn an entry into the individual event at the Games, in addition to being a huge relay asset.

Rebecca Smith and Mary-Sophie Harvey placed third and fifth in the women’s 200 free, respectively, which gets them on the team. Smith will also be a valuable relay swimmer at the Games with the ability to race the 100 free and 100 fly at a high-level, potentially chipping in on prelim teams.

Kierra Smith, a 2016 Olympic finalist in the women’s 200 breaststroke, was third in the 100 breast at Trials in a time of 1:07.72, but since only Kelsey Wog went under the ‘A’ cut in the final, Smith gets the nod having been under it (1:06.54 in April 2019) inside the qualifying period. The ‘A’ standard sits at 1:07.07.

Gabe Mastromatteo fell shy of the qualifying standard in the men’s 100 breaststroke (59.93), coming within less than two-tenths in the prelims (1:00.11), but still gets added to the team for medley relay purposes after winning the final in 1:00.75. Mastromatteo could also get an entry into the individual event since he’s under the ‘B’ cut.

The only swimmer added to the team without a clear-cut reason was Bailey Andison, primarily an IM specialist who placed third in both medley events at Trials. Andison was under the ‘A’ cut in the 200 IM. If Wog were to make the 100 breast final at the Olympic Games, she would have a tight double with the 200 IM semis shortly after, so it’s possible Wog plans on dropping the 200 IM, bringing Andison onto the team.

FULL OLYMPIC SWIMMING ROSTER (POOL)

Name Hometown Club Coach
Javier Acevedo Toronto, Ont. Ajax Aquatic Club Jack Bauerle
Bailey Andison Smiths Falls, Ont. Perth Stingrays Ray Looze
Katrina Bellio Mississauga, Ont. Etobicoke Swimming Rob Novak
Tessa Cieplucha Georgetown, Ont. Markham Aquatic Club Sean Baker
Ruslan Gaziev Toronto, Ont. Etobicoke Swimming Rob Novak
Mary-Sophie Harvey Trois-Rivières, Que. CAMO Claude St-Jean
Brent Hayden Mission, B.C. HPC-Vancouver Tom Johnson
Yuri Kisil Calgary, Alta. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Finlay Knox Okotoks, Alta. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Joshua Liendo Toronto, Ont. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Maggie MacNeil London, Ont. London Aquatic Club Rick Bishop
Kylie Masse LaSalle, Ont. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Gabe Mastromatteo Kenora, Ont. Kenora Swimming Sharks Byron MacDonald / Linda Kiefer
Summer McIntosh Toronto, Ont. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Penny Oleksiak Toronto, Ont. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Sydney Pickrem Halifax, N.S. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Cole Pratt Calgary, Alta. Cascade Dave Johnson
Taylor Ruck Kelowna, B.C. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Kayla Sanchez Toronto, Ont. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Katerine Savard Pont-Rouge, Que. CAMO Claude St-Jean
Kierra Smith Kelowna, B.C. Kelowna AquaJets Emil Dimitrov
Rebecca Smith Red Deer, Alta. HPC-Ontario Ben Titley
Markus Thormeyer Delta, B.C. HPC-Vancouver Tom Johnson
Kelsey Wog Winnipeg, Man. University of Manitoba Bisons Vlastimil Cerny

OPEN WATER ROSTER

Name Hometown Club Coach
Hau-Li Fan Burnaby, B.C. HPC-Vancouver Brad Dingey
Kate Sanderson Toronto, Ont. HPC-Vancouver Brad Dingey

Fan and Sanderson were named to the 10k open water event in Tokyo based on their results at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier, held June 19-20, in Setubal, Portugal.

COACHING STAFF

Position Name Hometown
Team Leader John Atkinson Ottawa, Ont.
Assistant Team Leader Iain McDonald Ottawa, Ont.
Team Manager Janice Hanan Victoria, B.C.
Head Coach (Pool) Martyn Wilby Ottawa, Ont.
Head Coach (Open Water) Mark Perry Ottawa, Ont.
Team Coach Vlastimil Cerny Winnipeg, Man.
Team Coach Dave Johnson Calgary, Alta.
Team Coach Tom Johnson Vancouver, B.C.
Team Coach Ryan Mallette Montreal, Que.
Team Coach Ben Titley Toronto, Ont.

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Tim
3 months ago

Hopefully Smith doesn’t get the medley relay team DQ’d in the heats. That selection is sure a head scratcher

Jy hj
Reply to  Tim
3 months ago

She could also just be named to the 100m breaststroke as well.

Njones
Reply to  Tim
3 months ago

She’s not required to swim it as relay-only swimmers are, so perhaps they play it safe and just keep Wog on if her program hasn’t been too heavy.

UBCTB
Reply to  Tim
3 months ago

How many times does she need to be disqualified before she changes her illegal technique?

Mike
Reply to  UBCTB
3 months ago

Smith shouldn’t even have a valid qualifying time, she was clearly doing illegal stroke when she swam the 1:06 in 2019 and should have been disqualified (yet again).

ScovaNotiaSwimmer
Reply to  Tim
3 months ago

Ok, I was wondering about this as I was watching her swims. I knew her kick has always been funky. Is her arm recovery weird as well? Her whole stroke technique just is so strange.

HJones
Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
3 months ago

Her elbows clearly—and almost deliberately—are above the surface of the water on each stroke.

Hatersgonnahate
Reply to  HJones
3 months ago

The elbows are clearly in contact with the water. Smh

Mike
Reply to  Hatersgonnahate
3 months ago

Are you sure? She hasn’t changed her stroke and keeps wondering why she gets dq’d https://swimswam.com/kierra-smith-matt-barnard-named-university-of-minnesota-mvps/

Bailey Andison stan
3 months ago

Bailey Andison 100% deserves the spot in the 200IM after posting a 2:09.99 at Indiana sectionals before having to come back to Canada and doing a full two week quarantine. Kelsey Wog will have the 200breast prelims the same day as the 200IM final so is probably focusing more on the breastrokes.

anon
3 months ago

Bailey Andison qualified for the team according to the standards set by Canada! Give her this moment to be an Olympian

gllr0302
Reply to  anon
3 months ago

She deserves the moment but it is a legitimate question as to on what grounds she’s nominated. Is it because her fastest recent time is faster than what Wog posted? Or does Wog not intend to swim the 200IM. Has to be one of those two, don’t think the article said anything negative.

Bill G
Reply to  anon
3 months ago

As outlined in the article, the 2nd place finisher in the 200 IM (Wog) at Trials is likely to drop that event from her programme in Tokyo. Since Andison met the FINA-A standard, she will be Canada’s second entry in that 200 IM, joining Pickrem. This is the only scenario that makes sense to me.

Njones
Reply to  Bill G
3 months ago

Agreed. If she was a 6th place 200 freestyler then maybe. Regardless that’s great for her and hopefully she can get back under 210 in her primary event. Wog then narrowed in on the breaststrokes.

jane
Reply to  Bill G
3 months ago

they just announced team members not what people are swimming

Bill G
Reply to  jane
3 months ago

Correct. Which is why the discussion forum is discussing what events Andison will swim in Tokyo as i) she didn’t finish top 2 at Trials in any of her events, ii) at Trials, her events have 2 swimmers with FINA-A times that finished ahead of her.

To quote the article: “The only swimmer added to the team without a clear-cut reason was Bailey Andison, primarily an IM specialist who placed third in both medley events at Trials.”

Ghost
3 months ago

Don’t get the 4×100 free men’s relay? Is Brent not going to swim it? Alternates have to swim it and if the alternates swim, then they will not final!

Gregory
Reply to  Ghost
3 months ago

I think a team of Acevedo, Gaziev, Thormeyer, and Kisil could comfortably final? Probably would hit a time around 3:13. Though I’m confused as well, Acevedo has only been sub 49 on a relay start once, and never on a flat start…

Jamie5678
Reply to  Gregory
3 months ago

Unlikely. Canada’s strongest team of presumably Hayden, Liendo, Kisil and Gaziev is decent but would be in dogfight to get into the final. They can’t really afford to rest anyone. The men’s 400 is the most competitive of all the freestyle relays.

Bill G
Reply to  Ghost
3 months ago

4×100 Liendo-Kisl/Thormeyer-Gaziev-Acevedo in prelims? Maybe injuries to Hayden (back spasms) and Kisil’s last minute withrdawl from the 100m final factored into this decision. Agree that it is peculiar.

Njones
Reply to  Bill G
3 months ago

True. Maybe…
* Thormeyer didn’t look that speedy
* Hayden taking extra care
This does look a bit like a plan B to ensure 4 healthy guys.

oldschoolswim
Reply to  Njones
3 months ago

This doesn’t make sense to me. I can understand not using Hayden in prelims because maybe two 100’s in a day is risky for him, so save him and use him if you need in finals. Acevedo is tested and has swam in the finals of 4×100 mixed medley in Budapest but you have to use everyone you bring. You can’t bring a swimmer and have them not swim so you run a risk in not using them in prelims.

Layne 4
3 months ago

Javier Acevedo? He was invisible at the trials. And for the past four years to be honest. Could someone who knows something about this please educate me. Thanks.

Jy hj
Reply to  Layne 4
3 months ago

Acevedo will swim the prelims for the 4×100. I’d imagine liendo Acevedo gaziev and kisil
For the final… Hayden can come in.

MTK
Reply to  Jy hj
3 months ago

I thought they’d surely use Thormeyer before Acevedo in 4x100fr prelims, no? Beat Acevedo at trials, PB of 48.71 to Acevedo’s 49.32, and has swum faster than Acevedo’s PB 8 times…

Last edited 3 months ago by MTK
gllr0302
Reply to  Layne 4
3 months ago

It’s certainly a bold (and generous) move to essentially name 6 guys for that relay.

MTK
Reply to  gllr0302
3 months ago

Yeah, my expectation was Kisil-Gaziev-Thormeyer-Liendo in prelims and if they qualify and Brent is feeling good, you throw him into finals and drop the slowest from prelims, and if not, roll with the same group in finals.

Last edited 3 months ago by MTK
Ghost
Reply to  MTK
3 months ago

You are making a HUGE assumption that they make finals without Brent! This relay is the first day! Surely he should be healthy then!?!

Ghost
Reply to  Layne 4
3 months ago

Exactly my thoughts! Was this a political pick? He has gotten slower in the last 5 years and does nothing at Trials! Remarkable

Gen D
Reply to  Ghost
3 months ago

I thought it was a head scratcher too but it turns out he came 4th in the 100 free so it looks like he earned his spot fair and square for the relay…!

Ghost
Reply to  Gen D
3 months ago

So Brent and Yuri aren’t going to be on relay? That relay will suck without those two!

Gen D
Reply to  Ghost
3 months ago

Maybe Liendo won’t swim prelims given his big program

Rafael
Reply to  Gen D
3 months ago

No guys who can split 47 and a 49 swimmer on prelims? Wont final as you have 6 to 7 teams who can go 3:12 then japan france with canada

Jamie5678
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

And Greece and Switzerland. Switzerland’s slowest split at the Euros was 48.57. And they lost to Greece.

Rafael
Reply to  Jamie5678
3 months ago

I actually expect a 3:13 flat or sub to final…

Layne 4
Reply to  Gen D
3 months ago

But Yuri and Brent weren’t there so technically he was 6th!

Gen D
Reply to  Layne 4
3 months ago

yeah i know… he got lucky this year

Ghost
Reply to  Gen D
3 months ago

Lucky for not improving from HS a all the way thru college!?!

Layne 4
Reply to  Gen D
3 months ago

Acevedo actually came 6th if your looking at all the times including Brent and Yuri !!!???

gllr0302
3 months ago

Someone explain to me how a coach who put zero swimmers on the team gets selected over, say, the coach of a swimmer who is a contender for gold.

Bill G
Reply to  gllr0302
3 months ago

Not sure who this post is referencing … but, I noticed Linda Keifer not named to the coaching squad this year. Isn’t / wasn’t she Kylie Masse’s coach at U of T? The Rio team did okay with her on the coaching staff.

The Johnson brothers are there. The architects of the darkest days of Canadian international swimming ~1998-2006.

Swamm-zz
Reply to  Bill G
3 months ago

Architects of the darkest days indeed.
Retirement celebrations long overdue for the Johnson twins.

Congratulations to each and every one of the athletes selected for the team!

ALDASP
Reply to  Bill G
3 months ago

Kylie Masse has been training with HPCO for a while now according to Byron McDonald (one of her coaches) during one of the sessions, most likely because of U of T’s pool closure

jane
Reply to  ALDASP
3 months ago

and maybe because she graduated from U of T

gllr0302
Reply to  Bill G
3 months ago

Okay I’ll be more explicit 😛

PCSC had an impressive meet but no swimmers on the team. I’m referring to MacNeil as the star whose coach isn’t selected but now realizing her situation is a bit particular (she’s made her major gains at Michigan).

PowerPlay
3 months ago

Predominantly a women’s team

MTK
3 months ago

Gotta say, I’m really surprised about Acevedo, Kierra Smith and Mary-Sophie Harvey.

Acevedo was 4th in the 100fr, but Kisil and Hayden weren’t there in finals, so not sure what role they see him playing at the Olympics.

Kierra Smith selected based on a time from 2 years ago? Ok….

Harvey selected for being 5th in 200fr, but she only beat Sanchez by 0.11, and Sanchez actually made the team in 50fr and 4×100, and Ruck might show better 200fr form at the Olympics than she did at Trials.

Happy for everyone, but kinda puzzling on these 3.

Njones
Reply to  MTK
3 months ago

Somewhat agreed. Very much depth moves in case of plan B, ie Hayden or even Kisil can’t go for the 4×1, something odd happens to Wog, extra depth for 4×2. There are still covid risks and exposures at play unfortunately. While the men’s 4×1 will need to fire on all cylinders to make the final, the women’s 4×2 has a decent chunk of wiggle room.

MTK
Reply to  Njones
3 months ago

Yeah, the issue is that they HAVE to use these swimmers, and particularly in the case of the men’s 4×100, using Acevedo in prelims might keep them out of finals.

Bill G
Reply to  MTK
3 months ago

Mary-Sophie Harvey will be a relay only swimmer in the 4×200 free. Allows Canada to rest an extra body for finals (e.g, McIntosh or Oleksiak). I suspect Canada will use Ruck on day one in the 4×100 free prelims – if she continues to be off-form, adding Harvey supplies some depth to the prelim relay. A Smith-Sanchez-Oleksiak-[Harvey] should be able qualify for finals in the 4x200m.

iceman
Reply to  Bill G
3 months ago

Prelims lineup for the 4×200 free will probably be Smith-Sanchez-Savard-Harvey. Based on trials times, they can swim around 7:52, a time that will comfortably make the final.
Oleksiak has the 100 free heats in that evening session and also the 200 free final in the morning of that day, supposing she swims the event and qualifies.
They’ll bring McIntosh, Oleksiak and Ruck, if she is on form, for the final.

Bill G
Reply to  iceman
3 months ago

Thanks – I forgot about Savard and her 4th place at Trials in the 200m free.

Laneline
Reply to  iceman
3 months ago

Do you have to keep at least 2 of the swimmers from prelims for finals? If so this plan does not work.

Rafael
Reply to  Laneline
3 months ago

There is no rule.for that. But all relay only swimmers must swim on that race. If you do not use one on prelims, you must use that person on finals

Ghost
Reply to  Rafael
3 months ago

Assuming they make finals

gllr0302
Reply to  MTK
3 months ago

Agreed on Acevedo and Smith. I think Harvey is a deserving addition to the 4×200 prelim group.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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