High Performance Onario TPASC Time Trial
A previously-scheduled May High Performance Test Racing Event scheduled for the Toronto Pan American Sports Center this coming week was canceled, but a new event was added to the scheduled in its play.
On May 7-8, Canada’s newest primo facility will host a “High Performance Time Trial,” which is only for elite swimmers who meet certain standards.
The event is the same dates as the previously-scheduled time trial for swimmers from across the country, but both local health officials and the facility managers balked at the notion of athletes traveling in from across the country for the event.
The reimagined event, therefore, has a requirement that to be eligible, athletes invited must currently be training regularly at TPASC. Most of the top swimmers in the Greater Toronto Area train at least somewhat regularly at the facility, so athletes from a number of different clubs, besides just the High Performance Center – Ontario swimmers, will participate in the event.
Other performance-related criteria includes:
- Must be identified as part of Swimming Canada 2020 OTP Identified Athlete Pool, or
- Must have an official result since September 1, 2018 that is within 1.5% of the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT/A)
- For para swimmers: must have been a member of the 2019 WPS Canadian World Championship Team.
The meet will be formatted with a maximum of 4 swimmers per heat, and Para races will be swum in a multi-class format using the Canadian Paralympic Point system to determine rankings.
Entry events were determined by high performance staff.
The goal of the meet is to give swimmers additional racing opportunities ahead of the upcoming Olympic Trials, which last week were postponed, again, this time until June.
Many of the country’s biggest names and top Olympic contenders will be in attendance. Among the highlight events will be the women’s 200 freestyle, where Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, and Kayla Sanchez will all race head-to-head.
The women’s 100 free will include that group as well as Maggie MacNeil, the defending World Champion in the 100 fly who trains in the United States at the University of Michigan, but is apparently returning for this event. She’ll also race the 100 back and 100 fly.
The defending World Championships bronze medalist in the 200 IM Sydney Pickrem is also scheduled to be present.
Masse, MacNeil, Pickrem, Oleksiak, and Ruck are 5 of the 6 swimmers that Swimming Canada pre-selected to their Olympic Team – though the 2nd spot is still open in the women’s 100 free and 200 free. The other pre-selected swimmer, Markus Thormeyer, trains in British Columbia.
The meet has some big names, though it’s overall a very compact field with just 22 Olympic hopefuls and 2 Paralympic hopefuls in attendance. It’s still a crucial meet for a number of athletes with limited racing opportunities between now and June’s Olympic Trials. While most of Canada’s serious Olympic contenders from the region have found opportunities to compete, with a lot of those opportunities being abroad in either the International Swimming League or in the United States’ Pro Swim Series, tightened regulations in Canada because of a rise in COVID cases could make those opportunities increasingly-difficult to come by.
Swimmers in the western provinces, especially the concentration in British Columbia, will be wont for the same opportunities: Swimming Canada’s official results database shows that athletes like Markus Thormeyer and Emily Overholt haven’t raced an official meet in 2021 yet. Those results don’t include a few collegiate meets, for example, that didn’t wind up in the official database, but with the USports season wrapped in late February, even those opportunities have dried up.