Canadian Olympic Trials: Yuri Kisil Nabs 100 Free A Cut; Brent Hayden Scratches Final

Yuri Kisil-Olympic Swimming Trials-h-21june2021Photo Scott Grant
Yuri Kisil; Photo Courtesy: Scott Grant/Swimming Canada

Yuri Kisil is in position to make his second Olympics after earning an A cut in the 100 freestyle at Canadian Trials Tuesday morning.

Kisil was first in the event with a time of 48.43 seconds. That trims .46 off his seed time to get under the A standard of 48.57. He’s the second Canadian swimmer with an A cut in the event.

The 100 free unfolded in interesting fashion on day 4 of the Trials. The two sprinters who had taken the headlines earlier in the meet faltered but still made finals. Joshua Liendo, who qualified in the 50 free and 100 butterfly, was third in 49.24. Eighth in prelims is 50 free champ Brent Hayden in 50.09. That’s well off his best time of 48.47, which is an A cut.

Hayden later took to Twitter to say he is scratching out of finals in the 100 free due to back pain.

Second in the final Tuesday night is Ruslan Gaziev in 48.92, a half-second drop from his seed time. Markus Thormeyer is fourth in 49.34. He entered with a seed time of 48.57 that was .14 off the A cut.

Kisil’s was the only A cut, old or new, among the men’s swimmers Tuesday. Eli Wall is the top seed in the men’s 200 breaststroke at 2:13.94. He and James Dergousoff entered as the only swimmers under 2:13. They’re 1-2 in the final, Dergousoff with a time of 2:14.59. Well back is 100 breast champ Gabe Mastromatteo, who settled for the eighth-fastest time in prelims at 2:19.03, nearly five seconds slower than his seed of 2:14.30. That A cut of 2:10.35 is pretty far from anyone’s grasp.

In the 200 fly, Mack Darragh is the top seed in prelims at 1:59.11. Second is Benjamin Loewen, in 2:00.27, two tenths ahead of Montana Champagne.

For Darragh, though, the race is less with the field than the clock. He holds the Canadian record of 1:56.27 from 2018. The Olympic A standard is 1:56.48. His best time this season is 1:56.68.

Kayla Sanchez-Olympic Swimming Trials-h-21june2021Photo Scott Grant

Kayla Sanchez; Photo Courtesy: Scott Grant/Swimming Canada

On the women’s side, Penny Oleksiak is the top seed in what should be an intriguing 100 free final. Oleksiak clocked in at 54.00 Tuesday. She’s followed by Kayla Sanchez in 54.18 and Taylor Ruck in 54.73.

Fourth is Katerine Savard (54.82), followed by a tie between Rebecca Smith and Maggie MacNeil (54.88).

Four swimmer hold A cuts in the event – Oleksiak, Sanchez, MacNeil and Ruck. Ruck has been preselected for the event in Tokyo, despite Oleksiak being the reigning Olympic co-champ and Canadian record-holder. In addition to jockeying for relay position, there will be a pitched battle for that second individual spot, with the 50 free champion Sanchez swimming well at Trials and Ruck, who qualified in the 100 back but missed the 50 and 200 free, having an up-and-down meet.

The 200 breast will be a race for one spot, with the pre-selected Sydney Pickrem scratching a day after winning the 200 individual medley (and a day before contesting the 400 IM, both of which she’s also pre-selected for). That left 100 breast champ Kelsey Wog to take first place in 2:25.89. Both she and third-place Kierra Smith, who went 2:29.84, have A cuts in the event. In between them in the standings is Avery Wiseman, who went 2:26.90.

The 200 fly is a rare event with no A cuts. It was made even more open by Savard and Mary-Sophie Harvey, seeded third and fifth, scratching. Mabel Zavaros was quickest in prelims at 2:11.31, a second slower than the time that makes her the top seed. Second is Emily Overholt in 2:12.62. Danielle Hanus, the second seed entering the meet, entered in fourth in 2:14.32. Zavaros is closest to the A cut of 2:08.43, her best time 1.65 seconds off it.

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