Swimming Canada Names 31 to World Championships Roster, Including Ruck & Oleksiak

Swimming Canada has announced a roster of 31 pool swimmers for the upcoming World Aquatics Championships. The pool swimming events at the meet in Fukuoka, Japan, will be held from July 23-30 in Fukuoka, Japan.

Among the athletes named to the roster are Penny Oleksiak, who opted out of the meet while continuing to work her way back from a knee injury, and Taylor Ruck, who skipped the meet to prioritize the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, with Trials coming shortly out of the NCAA Championships.

Both swimmers are crucial part of the Canadian relays that have become consistent medal contenders and winners since Rio 2016. With Rebecca Smith missing the national team for the first time since 2016, the addition of Ruck and Oleksiak to the roster becomes even more crucial for Swimming Canada’s relay success.

While athletes have been named to the roster, specific events have not yet been publicly assigned.

Athletes could be named to the roster if they met, or exceeded, the World Aquatics ‘A’ cuts in the final of Olympic events.

If no swimmer achieves the ‘A’ time standard, then the fastest-placed swimmer may be selected, provided they have reached the Swimming Canada secondary qualification. These secondary times are set 1% outside of the World Aquatics ‘A’ cuts.

Canada also leaves room for the High Performance Director to make discretionary selections to the roster, which is the pathway by which Ruck and Oleksiak were chosen.

The same discretion was used to select Ruslan Gaziev to the men’s roster, in spite of him scratching all of his races. He swam on all three men’s relays at last year’s World Championships, including the 400 free relay that finished 6th, about a second away from the podium. With Josh Liendo and Javier Acevedo swimming very well, the Canadians have a serious chance at a medal at this summer’s World Championships in that race.

Canadian swimmers won 11 medals (3 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze) at last year’s championships in Budapest, the country’s most ever, and broke five Canadian records. Canada ranked third in total medals and fourth in gold.

This year’s team consists of 14 men and 17 women. There are 21 swimmers (12 women, 9 men) returning from the Budapest squad while 10 swimmers (5 women, 5 men) will be making their world championships debut.

Katerine Savard, who trains with Club Aquatique Montreal, will be competing at her sixth world championships.

“I still have dreams,” said Savard, who has spent 14 years on Canadian national swim team. “I’m fortunate to still be of a calibre to compete with these girls.

“I’m proud to be at their level and to be part of several generations of swimmers.”

The roster includes some young standouts making their Canadian senior debuts, including Brayden Taivassalo, a University of Texas commit, and Ella Jansen.

Mabel Zavaros is also a positive story coming out of the meet. She qualified for a number of junior meets for Canada, and the 2018 Pan Pacs and Commonwealth Games, but has been quiet on the international radar since. After a great college season that saw her finish 4th at NCAAs in the 400 IM (and not swim her specialty the 200 fly), she entered the final day of competition on Sunday with three 3rd-place finishes at the meet, narrowly missing the team every time.

But on the final day of the meet, she won the 800 free in 8:38.17. While that wasn’t a FINA “A” cut, it was within 1% of the standard, which earned her a ticket to Fukuoka.

And of course it’s no surprise that the headliner is the 16-year-old Summer McIntosh, who broke two World Records and three additional World Junior Records at the meet.

Her coach at the Florida-based Sarasota Sharks Brent Arckey is being taken as part of the team staff as well. While Canada tends to stick with only Canadian-based coaches for their international teams, Arckey is on the roster as a “Personal Support Professional.”

The open water athletes will be selected at the 2023 Canadian Open Water Trials in Grand Cayman, April 15-16.

The teams for the Pan American Games, being held Oct. 20-Nov. 5 in Santiago, Chile, and the World Aquatic Junior Swimming Championships Nov. 4-9 in Netanya, Israel,  will be named Thursday.

Canadian Roster – 2023 World Aquatics Championships (Pool Swimming)

Name/NOM Club Coach/Entraineur Hometown/Ville Residence
Acevedo, Javier High Performance Centre – Ontario Ryan Mallette Toronto, ON Scarborough, ON
Bagshaw, Jeremy Island Swimming John Szaranek Victoria, BC Limerick, Ireland
Brown, Eric Pointe-Claire Swim Club Anthony Nesty Pointe-Claire, QC Pointe-Claire, QC
Dergousoff, James High Performance Centre – Vancouver Scott Talbot Christina Lake, BC Vancouver, BC
Fullum-Huot, Edouard Pointe-Claire Swim Club Anthony Nesty Montreal, QC Montreal, QC
Gaziev, Ruslan Etobicoke Swim Club Brian Schrader Moscow, Russia Toronto, ON
Gagne, Collyn Simon Fraser Aquatics Liam Donnelly Milton, ON Burnaby, BC
Hussey, Patrick Pointe-Claire Swim Club Mark Gangloff Montreal, QC Montreal, QC
Kharun, Ilya Sandpipers of Nevada Ron Aitken Montreal, QC Las Vegas, NV
Knox, Finlay High Performance Centre -Ontario Ryan Mallette Okotoks, AB Toronto, ON
Liendo, Joshua North York Aquatic Club Anthony Nesty Markham, ON Gainesville, FL
McNeill, Hugh University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Derrick Schoof Langley, BC Vancouver, BC
Taivassalo, Brayden High Performance Centre -Ontario Ryan Mallette Markham, ON Markham, ON
Wigginton, Lorne University of Calgary Swim Club Carl Simonson Calgary, AB Calgary, AB
Angus, Sophie High Performance Centre – Ontario Ryan Mallette Weston, CT Toronto, ON
Douthwright, Brooklyn Club De Natation Bleu Et Or Ryan Allen Riverview, NB Knoxville, Tenn.
Finlin, Emma Edmonton Keyano Swim Club Paul Birmingham Edmonton, AB Edmonton, AB
Henderson, Hanna Etobicoke Swim Club Robert Novak Mississauga, ON Mississauga, ON
Jansen, Ella High Performance Centre – Ontario Ryan Mallette Burlington, ON Burlington, ON
Mac Neil, Margaret London Aquatic Club Rick Bishop London, ON Baton Rouge, LA
Harvey, Mary-Sophie Club Aquatique Montreal Greg Arkhurst Trois-Rivieres, QC Montreal, QC
Masse, Kylie Toronto Swim Club Ben Titley LaSalle, ON Sant Cugat des Vallès, Spain
McIntosh, Summer Sarasota Sharks Brent Arckey Toronto, ON Sarasota, FL
O’Croinin, Emma High Performance Centre – Vancouver Scott Talbot Edmonton, AB Vancouver, BC
Oleksiak, Penelope High Performance Centre – Ontario Ryan Mallette Toronto, ON Toronto, ON
Pickrem, Sydney Toronto Swim Club Jason Calanog Clearwater, FL College Station, TX
Ruck, Taylor Scarborough Swim Club Greg Meehan Kelowna, BC Stanford, CA
Savard, Katerine Club Aquatique Montreal Greg Arkhurst Pont-Rouge, QC Montreal, QC
Wilm, Ingrid Cascade Swim Club Dave Johnson Norwich, England Calgary, AB
Wog, Kelsey University of Manitoba Bisons Vlastimil Cerny Winnipeg, MB Winnipeg, MB
Zavaros, Mabel Markham Aquatic Club Anthony Nesty Burlington, ON Burlington, ON
Name Postion
Atkinson, John Team Leader
McDonald, Iain Asst Team Leader
Hanan, Jan Team Manager
Mallette, Ryan Head Coach
Arkhurst, Greg Team Coach
Birmingham, Paul Team Coach
Johnson, Dave Team Coach
Kiefer, Linda Team Coach
Talbot, Scott Team Coach
Schoof, Derrick Team Coach
Arckey, Brent Personal Support Professional
Fuller, Johnny Physical Performance
Castro, Ron Massage Therapy
Maroney, Suzanne Massage Therapy
Vandenbogaerde, Tom Performance Scientist
Olson, Graham Video Analysis
Keeler, Dr. Steve Physician
White, Nathan Media Attache

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Bill P
5 months ago

Great choice to take Brent Ackrey for coaching staff n Summer. 1984 we took Paul Bergen in 1984. I believe he had numerous swimmers on that team. BP

Tracy Kosinski
5 months ago

Penny and Taylor were named over more deserving swimmers. You want to go to Worlds, attend trials. Cal me old and crabby, but honestly, there are many other swimmers who busted their butts all week that should be given the opportunity to represent Canada.

Only one female coach, and it’s Linda Kiefer. Not surprised.

Then there’s Brent Ackrey. Isn’t there a Canadian coach available? I can think of many. Obviously I’m grateful that SM is happy in Florida, but that’s just weird.

Privilege and entitlement still rule within Swimming Canada. Sad, really.

Reply to  Tracy Kosinski
5 months ago

I can see where you’re coming from, but what is the goal: to reward swimmers for working hard or to win medals?

If it’s just about rewarding hard work, then sure, leave them off. But without Ruck and Oleksiak, Canada can say goodbye to 3-4 relay medals. Even though they didn’t attend trials, they are arguably the two most valuable female swimmers on the Canadian team after McIntosh and MacNeil.

Reply to  Tracy Kosinski
5 months ago

Do you really want Ryan Mallette coaching Summer for 3 weeks…

5 months ago

There’s a good chance that Ruck and Oleksiak wind up choosing not to swim. And with Sanchez going to the Philippines and Rebecca Smith not making the team, it’s sort of hard to believe that this entire group will be absent from Japan.

5 months ago

I don’t understand why they are sending a men’s 4×200 free relay team. Since they are, why would they send a 31 year old guy over a younger guy who could use that experience and has a higher potential of actually improving his time. Bagshaw hasn’t improved in 8 years…

Reply to  Frank
5 months ago

Bagshaw qualified second?

Reply to  Frank
5 months ago

Relay qualification for the Olympics is on the line

William B
Reply to  NUSwimFan
5 months ago

Spoiler Alert: The men’s team aren’t qualifying.

Last edited 5 months ago by William B
5 months ago

So Carl Simonson, the “Assistant Head Coach” of UCSC according to their website, puts Lorne Wigginton on the team and has Aiden Norman, Paul Dardis, Nicholas Duncan, Jett Verjee, and Kamryn Cannings from his training group put up big swims and almost certainly qualify for the junior team.

Meanwhile Mike Blondal, their “Head Coach and Director of Swimming” manages to fumble spots on the team for Rebecca Smith, Rachel Nicol, Stephen Calkins, and Richie Stokes.

Must be a little awkward hey?

Lion Swim
Reply to  OldManSwims
5 months ago

Yikes. Dinos women also finished out of the top 3 at U Sports this season for the first time in almost a decade despite having Rebecca on the roster, not a great couple of months for that program.

Reply to  Lion Swim
5 months ago

True, though my impression of that meet was that the Dinos women didn’t majorly underperform, more so that McGill’s women swam very well.

The unoriginal Tim
5 months ago

The Olympics should not have a two swimmer limit. It allows for smaller countries to hand pick teams. There should be a top 32 in the world limit. Canada and other countries hand pick their team ignoring ranking and fitness to get a big relay swim while other countries such as USA and Austrailia can only take the people who actually qualify at trials.

I remember for Rio Britain took 7 swimmers for the 4×200 and to get around the relay only rules gave them individual swims they hadn’t earned. I think they declined to take the 200IM winner at trials and instead entered the 6th place finisher from trials as they had a better 200 Free.

Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
5 months ago

Ah yes, USA and AUS – the unfairly marginalized countries of world swimming!

Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
5 months ago

Nah, it’s fine as it is.

Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
5 months ago

It’s not possible to give someone an individual swim they haven’t “earned”. In order to give someone an individual swim they must have hit at least the B cut in a swim (unless you’re a universality place in which you can’t enter a relay anyway).

If GB wants to stack their 200 free relay then why do you care? The team with the fastest top 4 are going to win in the end.

Also, I’m not even sure where this is coming from? Is this because Ruck and Oleksiak were selected? You might be more convincing if you explain what the actual problem is. I don’t see how getting rid of the two swimmer limit would actually solve the… Read more »

Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
5 months ago

The US and AUS can change their selection procedures if they want. It’s open to them to add provisions that provide for discretionary selection for relays, etc. (e.g., in case of illness, injury, etc.). They choose not to so that’s on them.

Outside Smoke
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
5 months ago

Imagine the salt if Summer won an Olympic final featuring seven other Americans!

5 months ago

How impactful has Coach Arckey been to Summer’s development? Too soon to tell? Is this a case of a coach just not getting in the way?

Reply to  Swammer
5 months ago

Enough that swim Canada saw value in bringing him along and summers been with him for several months in two or more stints of training. Definitely a meaningful duo at this point.

Reply to  John
5 months ago

Of course they’re going to bring along the coach of their best swimmer. That’s just an absolute no brainer

Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Speaking of absolute no brainers.. 1968 Canadian pioneer “Multiple World Record Holder and Gold medal favorite Canada’s ‘Mighty Mouse’ Elaine Tanner was not allowed to bring her long time winning Coach Hall of Famer Howard Firby to her first ever Olympics….Result cost Canada and poor Elaine a shy 17 year old also a blind obedient teenage soldier the Gold Medal when political interference replaced Firby with a rookie coach who pushed her to change her record winning game plan.. Despite all this she still won three medals first Canadian women to win an Olympic Medal in swimming also first ever 3 in a single game . An Historic fact in the value of a winning Coach swimmer duo and keeping… Read more »

Reply to  Swammer
5 months ago

She was already a phenom well before she ever met him. I think people trying to give credit to her coach are being disingenuous.

No doubt he’s doing a good job, but there’s nothing to suggest she wouldn’t be doing just as well with someone else.

Reply to  Sub13
5 months ago

But the moment a swimmer does poorly, it’s always the coaches fault right?!

Grand Moff Tarkin
Reply to  Swimmerinlane9
5 months ago

That’s how it goes.

Reply to  Swammer
5 months ago

I don’t know how you could see an athlete be the first person to ever set WRs in the 400 FR & IM in LC and your first instinct is to downplay the role of her coach. Look at her freestyle from Tokyo and the huge technical improvements she’s made. Arckey is clearly doing something seriously right.

Reply to  oxyswim
5 months ago

100% agree with your take oxyswim.

Training with the Sharks under Brent Arckey has certainly had a positive effect on Summer. She has stated on recent interviews and podcasts that she loves everything about the program from her teammates to the coaches to in pool and dry land training all under the watchful eye and direction of Brent.

Hearing him speak last night about where Summer is now and where she is headed as they gear up for the Worlds was interesting. It sounded like there is a great deal of collaboration between the two which is not surprising in the least since Summer is known to be a real student of the sport and seems mature beyond… Read more »

Reply to  Swammer
5 months ago

Why risk not having them there? Obviously, she’s continuing to improve there in Florida.

Stephen Strange
5 months ago

Canada will be a major force in 4×200

Reply to  Stephen Strange
5 months ago

This year? Who is their fourth leg and what kind of shape are Oleksiak and Ruck gonna be in?

Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

Hopefully Ella Jansen continues to develop. She’s young so should continue to drop time. They also have Katerine Savard and Mary-Sophie Harvey.

Reply to  Stephen Strange
5 months ago

What’s changed ??? They’ve clearly been one since the middle of the previous decade.

McIntosh now means that they now join AUS & USA in possessing a potential game changing leg; however they still have a question mark over their 4th swimmer and how many of their bigger guns they can rest in the heats.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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