Canadian Olympic Trials: Joshua Liendo Adds 50 Free A Cut in Prelims

Joshua Liendo-Olympic Swimming Trials-f-19june2021Photo Scott Grant
Joshua Liendo; Photo Courtesy: Scott Grant/Swimming Canada

Joshua Liendo added another A cut to his haul at Canadian Olympic Trials, hitting the A standard exactly at 22.01 to take the top seed at prelims Monday morning.

Liendo led the field to the wall with his time, which marked a cut of .28 off his previous best. Liendo also qualified to swim in Tokyo in the 100 butterfly this week at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, and he’ll likely swim on the men’s 400 free relay.

Second to Liendo was Brent Hayden, 19 years his senior. Hayden was second near in 22.09, setting up what should be a sensational evening race. Hayden already has the A cut in the event at 21.97 from May.

Yuri Kisil is third in 22.34, the only other swimmer under 22.5 and the third day of the five-day meet.

In the women’s free, Kayla Sanchez defended her top seed entering the meet by going 25.13. Her sed time of 24.81 had been off the A cut of 24.77, which no Canadian has attained.

Second was Sarah Fournier in 25.54. Katerine Savard, who has qualified in two events and is swimming well, is third in 25.56. Lurking in sixth is Kylie Masse in 25.89, a best time.

Taylor Ruck, who holds the Canadian record in 24.26, did not start the race. She failed to make the final of the 200 free, an event in which she also holds the Canadian record, but did qualify in the 100 back. Her best time this cycle is 25.45.

Sydney Pickrem is the top seed in the women’s 200 individual medley with a time of 2:11.39. It’s well shy of her Canadian record, but she is set for Tokyo in the event already. Second is Kelsey Wog, who won the 100 breast on Sunday. Wog clocked in at 2:12.45, having previously set an A cut.

There will be intrigue in the final. Though Pickrem is pre-selected to Tokyo, the other spot is up for grabs. Both Wog and Bailey Andison (best time of 2:09.99) have A cuts. Andison is the third seed in finals after a 2:12.88 in prelims. Mary-Sophie Harvey also entered within two tenths of an A cut; she’s the fourth seed after a 2:13.76.

Finlay Knox had an uneventful prelims swim in the 200 IM, grabbing the top seed at 2:01.75. That’s nearly a second faster than Robert Hill. Knox has an A cut in the event, the Canadian record of 1:58.88.

Monday’s finals session will feature six events. In addition to the IMs and 50 frees, the women’s 800 free will feature Summer McIntosh vying for another Olympic spot. The 14-year-old is seeded third, 13 seconds off the A cut. Ahead of her is Emma O’Croinin, the top seed at 8:39.63, and McIntosh’s 16-year-old teammate Karina Bellio at 8:41.77. The A cut is 8:33.36.

The men’s 1,500 free is also at night. No one is seeded within 30 seconds of the A cut (15:00.99), which Stanford Li the top seed at 15:38.86.

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