Swimming Canada Names Team for Commonwealth Games

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Swimming Canada has nominated a group of 26 athletes who will be focused on contributing to the Canadian medal count when they dive into the pool for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, April 4-15, 2018.

The national body for swimming in Canada will field a stellar lineup of 16 women and 10 men who bring a combination of veteran leadership with youthful energy and drive – with 10 athletes under the age of 20.

“This is a young, yet dynamic and strong team of athletes who have proven they can perform under some of the most intense pressure at major international meets,” said John Atkinson, high-performance director and team leader, Swimming Canada. “With our young veterans leading the way, we established more depth in the program this summer where we saw a number of swimmers perform exceptionally well in a series of Championships and Games that were used as selection meets for our Commonwealth Games team. This event will be another critical benchmark and measuring stick for our team as we continue to build towards the 2020 Olympic Summer Games. It will provide our top athletes with another major test, while giving our rookies additional international race experience in a Games environment which will serve us well in the pursuit of our goals in 2020.”

The team of Canadian swimmers replete with medal potential will be led by 11 athletes who competed at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio along including medalists Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, Hilary Caldwell and Kylie Masse, who set a new world record in the 100-meter backstroke final at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary this summer.

“I am so very excited to attend the Commonwealth Games in Australia,” said Masse. “I am looking forward to travelling to a new country to compete. Every major competition in the next few years is important for us in the lead-up and preparation for Tokyo 2020.”

The deep contingent of talented Canucks in the pool will contain five athletes who competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games along with seven rookies on the senior swim team.

The complete list of Canadian swimmers nominated to the 2018 Commonwealth Games Team includes:

Name                               Hometown                Club                        

Women
Hilary Caldwell                     White Rock, B.C.         Island Swimming/HPC-VIC
Sarah Darcel                         Victoria                         Island Swimming/HPC-VIC
Jade Hannah                         Halifax                          Island Swimming/NextGen
Mary-Sophie Harvey           Trois-Rivières, Que.    Neptune Natation
Faith Knelson                        Ladysmith, B.C.          Island Swimming/NextGen
Kylie Masse                           Windsor, Ont.              Windsor Essex Swim Team
Rachel Nicol                          Lethbridge, Alta.         Lethbridge Amateur SC
Penny Oleksiak                     Toronto                         Toronto Swim Club
Taylor Ruck                           Kelowna, B.C.              Scarborough Swim Club/HPC-ONT
Kayla Sanchez                      Scarborough, Ont.      Ajax Aquatic Club/HPC-ONT
Katerine Savard                    Pont-Rouge, Que.       CAMO
Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson Ottawa                          Go Kingfish/HPC-VAN
Kierra Smith                          Kelowna, B.C.              Liquid Lightning
Rebecca Smith                     Red Deer, Alta.            Scarborough Swim Club/HPC-ONT
Mabel Zavaros                      Oakville, Ont.               Oakville Swim Club
Alexia Zevnik                         Montreal                       Pointe Claire Swim Club

Men
Jeremy Bagshaw                  Victoria                         Island Swimming/HPC-VIC
Samuel Belanger                  Quebec, Que.              Universite Laval
Josiah Binnema                    Prince George, B.C.   UBC Dolphins/HPC-VAN
Mack Darragh                       Mississauga, Ont.       Oakville Swim Club
Ruslan Gaziev                       Toronto                         Markham Swim Club
Tristan Cote                           Mississauga, Ont.       Etobicoke Swim Club
Yuri Kisil                                 Calgary                         UBC Dolphins/HPC-VAN
Carson Olafson                     Chilliwack, B.C.           UBC Dolphins/HPC-VAN
Markus Thormeyer               Delta, B.C.                    UBC Dolphins/HPC-VAN
Eli Wall                                   Ottawa                          University of Toronto Swim Club

Coaches
Martyn Wilby                         Swimming Canada     Head Coach
Linda Kiefer                           Toronto
Bill O’Toole                            Toronto
Ben Titley                               Toronto
Tom Johnson                         Vancouver
Ryan Mallette                        Victoria
Vince Mikuska                       Swimming Canada

“Swimming is one of the largest sport teams on Team Canada 2018,” said Claire Carver-Dias, Chef de Mission of the Canadian Team going to Gold Coast. “With their amazing success in the pool at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, we will look to these athletes to set a strong pace for all sports on the ground in Australia. Congratulations to all those who have been nominated today; I look forward to meeting you and supporting you as you strive for the podium at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

The entire Canadian Team will be officially announced by Commonwealth Games Canada in March 2018.

The 2018 Games will take place April 4-15, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia, with 70 participating countries and over 4000 athletes taking part.

Press release courtesy of Swimming Canada.

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