Swimmer Marie-Sophie Harvey celebrates by the poolSwimming Canada/Ian MacNicol
Swimming Canada/Ian MacNicol

Olympic Swimming Trials: Veterans and rising talents race towards Paris 2024

Day 2 of the Olympic & Paralympic Swimming Trials, Presented by Bell brought plenty of excitement to the pool deck of the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, with more athletes racing their way to Paris. The trials got off to a stellar start on Monday, with Summer McIntosh and Maggie Mac Neil booking their spots at Paris 2024 in the 400m freestyle, and 100m butterfly, respectively. McIntosh swam a world-leading time of 3:59.06 in the 400m free.

READ: Olympic Swimming Trials: McIntosh and Mac Neil win their first events to qualify for Paris 2024

Tuesday’s evening of finals kicked off with the men’s 400m individual medley where Tristan Jankovics dipped under the 4:12.50 Olympic qualifying time to take the win. His qualification to be nominated for Team Canada marks the first time since London 2012 that Canada will be represented in the event at the Games. Jankovics finished with a time of 4:11.74.

Janovics says his mindset coming into the Trials was to trust his training, and everything he’s put into the sport over the last few years.

“Looking at the Eiffel Tower before I went for my race, it kind of reminded me that this is what I’ve worked for, and I’ve got to go out there,” Jankovics said post-race.

As for his mindset headed to the Games?

“I mean, it’s my childhood dream to be there. I just want to enjoy it. Do my best and represent this country to the fullest.”

Despite swimming a world-leading time in the 400m freestyle Monday night, McIntosh wasn’t entirely happy with her performance, saying that it didn’t reflect her training. The 17-year-old doubled back for the 200m freestyle on Tuesday, swimming the Olympic standard time in the morning’s preliminary heats and posting the fastest time to move on to the evening finals.

In the final, McIntosh swam 1:53.69, absolutely demolishing the Olympic qualifying standard of 1:57.26. The performance is just 4 hundredths of a second off her Canadian record set at the 2023 World Championships. McIntosh was followed to the wall by Marie-Sophie Harvey with a time of 1:55.44, also well under the standard. Julie Brousseau (1:57.60) and Emma O’Croinin (1:57.86), third and fourth respectively, will be considered for the 4×200 m freestyle relay for which Canada has qualified for Paris 2024.

When asked about her taper process ahead of the Trials, McIntosh responded: “I’m ready to go fast. It doesn’t matter if I’m fully tapered or not tapered at all. I’m an athlete, so I’m ready to go fast whenever.”

In the men’s 100m backstroke, Blake Tierney and Javier Acevedo both qualified to be named to the Olympic team. Tierney touched the wall first with a time of 53.48, closely followed by Acevedo who clocked 53.55. This will be Acevedo’s third Olympic Games.

“My arms are pretty sore, but when you win the pain kind of gets numbed out a bit,” Tierney said with a chuckle when asked how he was feeling post-race.

In an extremely close final in the women’s 100m breaststroke, Sophie Angus won with a time of 1:06.96. Although this time is slower than the Olympic qualifying time of 1:06.79, Canada has qualified for the women’s 4×100m medley relay, for which she could be considered a breaststroke specialist.

The Olympic and Paralympic Swimming Trials, Presented by Bell, will continue until Sunday at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Preliminary heats begin at 9:30 a.m. ET each day, with the finals sessions starting at 6:00 p.m. each evening. It all leads up to the official announcement of Team Canada’s Paris 2024 swimming team on Sunday night.

All competition sessions are being streamed live on CBC Sports digital platforms (CBC Gem, cbcsports.ca, CBC Sports app). There is also a nightly highlight show on CBC TV.