RIO – For the second Olympics in a row Canada will have a finalist in swimming’s marquee event at the Olympic Games – the men’s 100-m freestyle.
Santo Condorelli of Kenora, Ont., hopes to at least duplicate the bronze medal earned four years ago by Brent Hayden after qualifying third in Tuesday’s semifinals.
Condorelli tied for the third fastest time with Cameron McEvoy of Australia at 47.93 to advance to Wednesday’s final. It was a personal best for the 21-year-old bettering his 47.98 from the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Nathan Adrian of the U.S., 16th in the prelims, posted the fastest time at 47.83 and Australian Kyle Chalmers followed at 47.88.
‘’I’m happy, it’s getting better each and every time,’’ said Condorelli, fourth in the event at the world championships last year. ‘’I’m getting more and more confident and having fun with it.
‘’I definitely want to bring home some hardware for the men’s team in the final.’’
‘’I DEFINITELY WANT TO BRING HOME SOME HARDWARE FOR THE MEN’S TEAM IN THE FINAL.’’
Yuril Kisil of Calgary tied for 10th overall clocking a personal best 48.28. He was 23rd at the world championships last year.
‘’It was really nerve-wracking,’’ said Kisil, 20, based at Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Vancouver. ‘’It was great to experience all the emotions going into it and race the best in the world. I credit a lot of my success to Santo because I get to race one of the best in the world all the time, so it’s making me raise my game.’’
John Atkinson, Swimming Canada’s high performance director, was pleased to see Canada’s depth in the event.
‘’We were only one of three nations to have two swimmers in the semis,’’ he said. ‘’Santo has put himself into a really good position for tomorrow night.’’
In the women’s 200-m IM, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary won the gold in two minutes and 06.58 seconds fending off a strong challenge from Britain’s Marie-Siobhan O’Connor of Britain second in 2:06.88. Madeline Dirado of the U.S. was third in 2:08.79.
Sydney Pickrem of Halifax clocked 2:11.22 in her first career Olympic final. The 19-year-old progressed from eighth overall in the preliminaries and seventh in the semifinals on Monday.
Lacroix’s last race?
Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge, Que., placed 16th in the women’s 200-m butterfly semfinal in what could be her last race in a brilliant career. She is in her 16th season on the national team.
‘’It was a tough swim tonight,’’ said Lacroix, competing at her third Games. ‘’This morning in the prelims it went well until the last 50 metres and tonight I felt tired emotionally from that race and wasn’t 100 percent. It’s probably my last race but I’m still going to think it over first.’’
Penny Oleksiak of Toronto, with two medals so far at the Games, is back in action Wednesday afternoon in the women’s 100-m freestyle preliminaries along with Chantal Van Landeghem of Winnipeg. Both were part of the 4X100-m freestyle relay that took bronze on Saturday. The 16-year-old Oleksiak added a silver on Sunday in the 100-m butterfly.
Also watch for Martha McCabe of Toronto and Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., in the women’s 200-m breaststroke prelims and Canada’s women’s 4X200-m freestyle relay.
The preliminaries are at noon (EDT) and the finals at 9 p.m.