The Week That Was: Canadian Trials Pushed to June, Great Britain & Brazil Select Olympic Teams

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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Two more nations selected their Olympic teams while Swimming Canada has postponed its Trials to June 19 – 23, around the same time as the United States and Australia.

Read the five biggest stories of the week in The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #1: Canadian Trials Pushed to June

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

By Matthew De George

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced another postponement of the Canada Olympic and Paralympic Trials to June 19-23, Swimming Canada announced Wednesday.

Trials will still be held at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Center, but the governing body is also exploring options to host Trials at another North American location should COVID-19 conditions remain dangerous in Ontario. The dates would remain the same, and Swimming Canada is pledging to make any changes by the end of May.

Canadian Olympics and Paralympic Trials were originally scheduled for April, then postponed to May 24-28. Now, a surge in Canadian COVID-19 cases and a sluggish vaccine rollout is forcing a further delay. The decision was reached in an emergency board meeting Monday and announced to athletes Wednesday on a conference call. Swimming Canada last week expressed optimism that it wouldn’t have to change Trials.

Paralympic Trials are cancelled, and Swimming Canada will “create alternative competitive opportunities.” The dates of Canadian Olympic Trials conflict with a global event in Berlin.

“In light of the state of emergency and stay-at-home order in Ontario, as well as travel restrictions in and out of other provinces, Swimming Canada’s board of directors, in consultation with management, has determined that the May dates for Trials are no longer viable,” Swimming Canada President Cheryl Gibson said in a press release. “We have therefore asked management to explore plans to hold the Trials in June.”

#2: British Swimming Selects Olympic Team

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

By Liz Byrnes

Team GB has announced a squad of 28 swimmers as they seek to emulate their six-strong medal haul from Rio 2016 at the Olympics in Tokyo in July.

Adam Peaty, Duncan Scott, Luke Greenbank and James Wilby had all been pre-selected to Team GB after winning individual medals at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju.

A further 24 were added following the recent trials in London meaning that 70 athletes across all sports have been selected to Team GB.

At 30 Commonwealth 200 fly champion Alys Thomas is the oldest with 16-year-old Jacob Whittle the youngest member of the team.

The Week That Was #3: Brazil Swimming Names Olympic Team

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Etiene Medeiros. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

By Andy Ross

Brazilian Swimming named 27 members to the Tokyo Olympics this summer in Japan with 18 swimmers slated for individual events.

“We have a strong selection. That was our intention from the beginning. Having the best selection and not necessarily the largest selection. We are confident that this team can do well at the Tokyo Olympics,” said CBDA vice president Renato Cordani.

Bruno Fratus, Marcelo Chierighini and Leonardo de Deus are making their third Olympic appearances while Felipe LimaEtiene MedeirosLuiz Altamir and Larissa Oliveira will make their second trip to the Games.

#4: Chinese Swimming Federation Opens Door for Sun Yang Pending CAS Re-Trial

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

By Swimming World

As the Chinese Olympic Trials started on Friday, the controversial Sun Yang was missing from action, his status for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo still in limbo. Yet, the Chinese Swimming Federation has instituted a measure that will enable Sun to race at the Olympics if he is deemed eligible following his upcoming retrial with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on a doping violation.

The Chinese Federation announced that any athletes who captured titles at the 2019 World Championships would receive automatic qualification for the Tokyo Games. That ruling affects only Sun, who claimed world titles in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle, and Xu Jiayu, who was the world champion in the 100 backstroke.

In February 2020, Sun was handed an eight-year ban by the CAS due to what unfolded during an out-of-competition doping test in September 2018. During the visit by doping testers, Sun and his entourage refused requests of the officials and, at one point, a member of Sun’s team destroyed a vial containing Sun’s blood.

The Week That Was #5: Arno Kamminga Moves to Second All-Time in 100 Breast

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Liz Byrnes

Arno Kamminga is now the second-fastest man over 100m breaststroke in history after he broke through the 58-second barrier in 57.90 at the Netherlands Team Time Trials in Eindhoven.

The three-time European short-course champion had shaved 0.01secs off his Dutch record to go 58.42 on Friday morning, also notable because of early finals come Tokyo.

The 25-year-old – who is coached by Mark Faber at the National Training Centre Amsterdam – returned in the evening to take 0.52secs off that time.

Splits: 26.99/30.91

With that he became the first swimmer after Adam Peaty to go 57, six years after the Briton first went 57.92 in April 2015.

An elated Kamminga told Swimming World:

“I am still over the moon that I was able to swim it here, on a training meet, while the rest for the Euros (European Championships) starts on Monday.

“I knew I had it in me for a while but just couldn’t put it together until now.

“I had a couple of races before today where I thought I could break that barrier but I got stuck with a 58 or 59.

“So I’m really happy that the stroke is finally coming together nicely.”

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