MONTREAL – Brian Johns of Richmond, B.C., isn’t surprised to see Canadian swimmers deliver the uplifting performances that have been prevalent this week at the CN Swimming Trials Olympic selection competition.
Heading into Sunday night’s final, 26 swimmers are on the Olympic nomination list, six more than four years ago.
‘’We’ve definitely had the potential to do this for awhile,’’ said Johns, after qualifying second for the 200-individual medley final on Sunday morning.
With 26 swimmers nominated to the Olympic team so far, it appears Swimming Canada’s Olympic team will be a healthy balance of veterans and youth.
‘’It’s the perfect mix,’’ said Johns. ‘’Our job as veterans is to assure that our team gives its best performances. We’ll try and lead the way for some of the youngsters and teach them things we’ve learned over the last couple of years.’’
Tobias Oriwol of Pointe-Claire, Que., was the top qualifier in the 200 IM clocking 2:03.41 just edging Johns in second in 2:03.43. The top-eight in the morning prelims qualify for tonight’s final.
Other top-two qualifiers in Sunday’s prelims were Richard Hortness of Lethbridge, Alta., and Matt Rose of Peterborough, Ont., in the men’s 50 freestyle, Victoria Poon of Montreal and Hannah Riordan of Cornwall, Ont., in the women’s 50 freestyle and Elizabeth Wycliffe of Kingston, Ont., and Lindsay Seeman of Newmarket, Ont., in the women’s 200 backstroke.
Drew Christensen beams about Paralympic record
In the Paralympic selection trials for swimmers with a disability, Drew Christensen of New Westminster, B.C., continued his record chase Sunday morning in the men’s 50 freestyle. He clocked 30.43 seconds more than a second off the 19-year-old mark held by Tom Hainey.
On Saturday nigh though, the 17-year-old Christensen erased Hainey’s 16-year-old record in the 100-metre butterfly and also broke the 200 IM record on Thursday. He competes in the S8 disability category,
‘’It’s been really exciting,’’ said Christensen, who started swimming at age 10. ‘’It was a really old record and I’ve been chasing it for a long time. It was finally good to break it. I’ve been close to it for the last two years. My start was terrible but technically it was a very good race.’’
Donovan Tildesley of Vancouver, Brian Hill of Duncan, B.C., and Benoit Huot of Longueuil, Que., are seeded 1-2-3 for the men’s 50 freestyle tonight while Anne Polinario of Montreal, Valerie Grand’Maison of Montreal and Chelsea Gotell of Antigonish, N.S., are ranked 1-2-3 in the women’s 50 freestyle.