Swimming Canada has nominated a group of 26 athletes who will be focused on contributing to the Canadian medal count when they dive into the pool for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, April 4-15, 2018.
The national body for swimming in Canada will field a stellar lineup of 16 women and 10 men who bring a combination of veteran leadership with youthful energy and drive – with 10 athletes under the age of 20.
“This is a young, yet dynamic and strong team of athletes who have proven they can perform under some of the most intense pressure at major international meets,” said John Atkinson, high-performance director and team leader, Swimming Canada. “With our young veterans leading the way, we established more depth in the program this summer where we saw a number of swimmers perform exceptionally well in a series of Championships and Games that were used as selection meets for our Commonwealth Games team. This event will be another critical benchmark and measuring stick for our team as we continue to build towards the 2020 Olympic Summer Games. It will provide our top athletes with another major test, while giving our rookies additional international race experience in a Games environment which will serve us well in the pursuit of our goals in 2020.”
The team of Canadian swimmers replete with medal potential will be led by 11 athletes who competed at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio along including medallists Penny Oleksiak, Taylor Ruck, Hilary Caldwell and Kylie Masse, who set a new world record in the 100-metre backstroke final at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary this summer.
“I am so very excited to attend the Commonwealth Games in Australia,” said Masse. “I am looking forward to travelling to a new country to compete. Every major competition in the next few years is important for us in the lead-up and preparation for Tokyo 2020.”
The deep contingent of talented Canucks in the pool will contain five athletes who competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games along with seven rookies on the senior swim team.
The list of Canadian swimmers nominated to the 2018 Commonwealth Games Team includes:
Name / Hometown / Club
Hilary Caldwell / White Rock, B.C. / Island Swimming/HPC-VIC
Sarah Darcel / Victoria / Island Swimming/HPC-VIC
Jade Hannah / Halifax / Island Swimming/NextGen
Mary-Sophie Harvey / Trois-Rivières, Que. / Neptune Natation
Faith Knelson / Ladysmith, B.C. / Island Swimming/NextGen
Kylie Masse / Windsor, Ont. / Windsor Essex Swim Team
Rachel Nicol / Lethbridge, Alta. / Lethbridge Amateur SC
Penny Oleksiak / Toronto / Toronto Swim Club
Taylor Ruck / Kelowna, B.C. / Scarborough Swim Club/HPC-ONT
Kayla Sanchez / Scarborough, Ont. / Ajax Aquatic Club/HPC-ONT
Katerine Savard / Pont-Rouge, Que. / CAMO
Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson / Ottawa / Go Kingfish/HPC-VAN
Kierra Smith / Kelowna, B.C. / Liquid Lightning
Rebecca Smith / Red Deer, Alta. / Scarborough Swim Club/HPC-ONT
Mabel Zavaros / Oakville, Ont. / Oakville Swim Club
Alexia Zevnik / Montreal / Pointe Claire Swim Club
Jeremy Bagshaw / Victoria / Island Swimming/HPC-VIC
Samuel Belanger / Quebec, Que. / Universite Laval
Josiah Binnema / Prince George, B.C. / UBC Dolphins/HPC-VAN
Mack Darragh / Mississauga, Ont. / Oakville Swim Club
Ruslan Gaziev / Toronto / Markham Swim Club
Tristan Cote / Mississauga, Ont. / Etobicoke Swim Club
Yuri Kisil / Calgary / UBC Dolphins/HPC-VAN
Carson Olafson / Chilliwack, B.C. / UBC Dolphins/HPC-VAN
Markus Thormeyer / Delta, B.C. / UBC Dolphins/HPC-VAN
Eli Wall / Ottawa / University of Toronto Swim Club
Martyn Wilby - Swimming Canada Head Coach
Linda Kiefer - Toronto
Bill O’Toole - Toronto
Ben Titley - Toronto
Tom Johnson - Vancouver
Ryan Mallette - Victoria
Vince Mikuska - Swimming Canada
“Swimming is one of the largest sport teams on Team Canada 2018,” said Claire Carver-Dias, Chef de Mission of the Canadian Team going to Gold Coast. “With their amazing success in the pool at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, we will look to these athletes to set a strong pace for all sports on the ground in Australia. Congratulations to all those who have been nominated today; I look forward to meeting you and supporting you as you strive for the podium at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”
The entire Canadian Team will be officially announced by Commonwealth Games Canada in March 2018.
The 2018 Games will take place April 4-15, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia, with 70 participating countries and over 4000 athletes taking part.
ABOUT COMMONWEALTH GAMES CANADA
Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) is the international franchise holder for the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth movement in Canada, and an active, contributing member of the Canadian sport community. The mission of CGC is to strengthen sport within Canada and throughout the Commonwealth by participating in the Commonwealth Games and by using sport as a development tool. Visit www.commonwealthgames.ca for information.
Story & Photo: Swimming Canada | Swimming.ca