On Day 2 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Swimming Trials, presented by Bell, 14-year-old Summer McIntosh defeated four-time Olympic medallist Penny Oleksiak, claiming the top spot in the women’s 200-m freestyle.
With her race on Sunday night, McIntosh lowered her own national age group record, with a time of 1:56:19, qualifying for nomination to Team Canada.
“Honestly it doesn’t feel real at all yet. It felt like a blur. It hasn’t sunk in that’s for sure,” McIntosh said after her race. “It’s been a crazy year for everyone. I’m just really happy.”
McIntosh earned Bell Performance of the Day honours with her race. She is the latest in her family to achieve athletic success; her mother Jill Horstead was an Olympic swimmer in 1984 and her sister, Brooke, competed in figure skating at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.
“Family is everything,” McIntosh said. “My mom drives me to practice every day. They are all just so supportive.”
In the final 50 metres, McIntosh and Oleksiak were neck and neck, swimming for home. But the 14-year-old was able to pull away from Oleksiak, who trains with McIntosh at the High Performance Centre – Ontario.
“I love Summer,” Oleksiak said. “She’s all gas and no brakes. I love her work ethic and she’s so strong mentally in and out of the pool.”
Oleksiak posted a 1:57:24, finishing second. She raced a better time in the morning heat (1:57:07) to be the top swimmer entering the final. Oleksiak is one of six swimmers provisionally nominated by Swimming Canada’s Selection Committee earlier this year to make the Olympic team.
“I think this morning was a lot better than tonight,” Oleksiak said. “We haven’t really gotten to do much prelims-final race training. It’s a learning lesson for (the 100 freestyle) Tuesday.”
Oleksiak said she’s having fun training and looking forward to being a mentor for some of the younger swimmers heading to Tokyo.
“It was really nice to learn from them,” Oleksiak said of the older swimmers who mentored her in Rio. “Now, it’s fun talk to the other girls and to help other swimmers out.”
In the women’s 100-m breaststroke, Kelsey Wog was the first to touch the wall defeating Rachel Nicol of Lethbridge, Alta., (1:07:31) and Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., (1:07:72). The Winnipeg native and member of the University of Manitoba Bisons set a personal best 1:06:77 to qualify for nomination.
“I’m just really excited,” Wog said after the race. “I’m just happy to get up on the blocks and touch first. It’s been a long 15 months where there were a lot of ups downs. But I put in a lot of work.”
On the men’s side, Gabe Mastromatteo of Kenora, Ont., captured the 100-m breaststroke in 1:00:75 and Calgary’s Peter Brothers won the 200-m freestyle in a personal best 1:49.07.
A total of 184 swimmers from 65 clubs across the country are competing for spots on Team Canada for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that are taking place July 23 – Aug. 8. The invitation-only event includes preliminary heats and finals for all events of 200 metres in distance or shorter, with timed finals being offered for distances 400 metres and longer.
Daily preliminary heats begin at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. ET. Evening finals follow beginning at 5:30 p.m.
All sessions from Swimming Canada’s flagship event are streamed in English at cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices and the free CBC Gem streaming service. Additionally, CBC Sports weekly staple ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES will provide broadcast coverage on Saturday, June 26 starting at 2:30 p.m. ET on CBC TV.
NOTES: The Canadian swimming team for Tokyo 2020 will be officially announced Thursday on Swimming Canada, COC and CBC digital channels… Six swimmers were provisionally nominated by Swimming Canada’s Selection Committee earlier this year, including Kylie Masse (100m and 200m backstroke), Margaret Mac Neil (100m butterfly), Penny Oleksiak (200m freestyle), Sydney Pickrem (200m breaststroke, 200m and 400m individual medley), Taylor Ruck (100m freestyle) and Markus Thormeyer (200m backstroke).
Photo Courtesy of Swimming Canada / Scott Grant
Story: Swimming Canada