Road To The Olympic Games


Kierra Smith bounces back to win 100m breaststroke at Canadian swim trials

The native of Kelowna, B.C., won the women's 100-metre breaststroke in a personal-best time of one minute 6.54 seconds at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. That qualified Smith for the Canadian team that will compete at the world championships later this summer in Gwangju, South Korea.

Kelowna, B.C., native clocks personal best a day after getting disqualified in 200m

Kierra Smith, pictured above at the Rio Olympics, won the women's 100-metre breaststroke at the Canadian trials on Thursday. (Lee Jin-man/The Associated Press)

Kierra Smith earned some redemption Thursday night at the Canadian swimming trials.

The native of Kelowna, B.C., won the women's 100-metre breaststroke in a personal-best time of one minute 6.54 seconds at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. That qualified Smith for the Canadian team that will compete at the world championships later this summer in Gwangju, South Korea.

On Wednesday night, Smith finished first in the women's 200-metre breaststroke but was disqualified from the race.

"I'm so relieved, it was another great swim," Smith said. "I was proud of my swim [Wednesday night] and happy to get on the team.

"I swam really fast [Wednesday night] and so I knew I could come back and have a great swim."

Smith said it wasn't hard for her to put Wednesday's heartbreak aside.

"You have to put it behind you," she said. "That's what having back-to-back events is.

"I had a great swim, I had a terrible day but you just kind of take that for what it is."

Winnipeg's Kelsey Wog was second in 1:07.54 while Regina's Rachel Nicol took third in 1:07.94. Wog was also second in the women's 200-metre breaststroke Wednesday night.

The women's 100-metre freestyle was the marquee event of the night with both Taylor Ruck of Kelowna, B.C., and Toronto's Penny Oleksiak in the eight-swimmer final. Oleksiak won four medals at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio while Ruck captured a record eight medals at last year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.

WATCH | Ruck, Oleksiak finish 1-2 in women's 100-metre free:

The 2016 Olympians raced to 1st and 2nd place finishes, clocking in with times of 53.26 and 53.60 respectively at the 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials in Toronto. 1:57

Ruck completed the opening 50 metres in 25.79 seconds for the lead, then held on to claim the victory in 53.26 seconds. Oleksiak was second in 53.60 while Toronto's Kayla Noelle Sanchez took third in 54.22.

Fourth-place finisher Margaret MacNeil of London, Ont., (54.51) also qualified for the world championships. Ruck and Oleksiak will swim in individual events in Korea with Sanchez and MacNeil joining them on the 4x100 freestyle relay squad.

On Wednesday night, Ruck, 18, finished second to Kylie Masse of LaSalle, Ont., in the women's 100-metre backstroke.

"It was a close race," she said. "I was just in my own race.

"I just wanted to do what I could in the pool. A good race."

WATCH | 'I just want to be fast':

The Canadian Olympic champion spoke to CBC Sports' Jacqueline Doorey after finishing second in the 100m free final. 1:57

The race was the first of six that Oleksiak, 18, will compete in here.

"Overall I'm pretty excited to know I'm on the [world championship] team," she said.

Markus Thormeyer earned his second victory in as many days. The Vancouver swimmer captured the men's 100-metre freestyle race in 48.76 seconds.

On Wednesday night, Thormeyer posted a Canadian-record time of 53.35 seconds in winning the men's 100-metre backstroke.

"I was really working on my 100s trying to get these two events going," he said. "Doing both of them Day 1 and Day 2 and winning both is great."

WATCH | Swimmers react to making national team:

Aurelie Rivard, Sydney Pickrem, Emily Overholt and Yuri Kisil speak to CBC Sports' Jacqueline Doorey at the Canadian Swimming Trials. 1:40

Calgary's Yuri Kisil was second in 49.11 while William Pisani, a Canada/U.S. citizen, was third in 49.43. Kisil, Pisani and fourth-place finisher Carson Olafson, who trains in Vancouver, will join Thormeyer in the men's 4x100 freestyle relay.

Sydney Pickrem captured the women's 400-metre individual medley. She also finished first Wednesday night in the women's 200-metre breaststroke.

Pickrem, also a dual Canadian/American citizen, topped the field with a time of 4:35.15 with Vancouver's Emily Overholt second in 4:37.88. Tessa Cieplucha of Oakville, Ont., was third in 4:38.96

Edmonton's Richard Funk topped the men's 100-metre breaststroke in 1:01.18. Gabe Mastromatteo of Kenora, Ont., was second in 1:01.24 while Ottawa's Eli Wall took third in 1:02.04.

Tristan Cote of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., won the men's 400-metre individual medley in 4:17.85. Montana Champagne of Ottawa was second in 4:21.40 while Collyn Gagne of Oakville, Ont., was a close third in 4:21.49.

Taylor Ruck won the women's 100-metre freestyle race at the 2019 Canadian swimming trials on Thursday. (Shuji Kajiyama/The Associated Press)

Danielle Hanus of Newmarket, Ont., won the women's 50-metre backstroke in 28.03 seconds. Halifax's Jade Hannah took second in 28.20 while Emma Ball of Guelph, Ont., was third in 28.32.

Toronto's Javier Acevedo captured the men's event in 25.69 seconds. Vancouver's Tim Zeng was second in 25.89 while Calgary's Sebastian Somerset took third in 25.96.

Para swimmer Aurelie Rivard of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., won the women's 100-metre multi-class race in 59.88 seconds. Alexander Elliott won the men's event in 54.66 seconds.

Toronto's Aly Van Wyck-Smart topped the women's 50-metre backstroke multi-class event in 1:21.25. Jonathan Dieleman of Telkwa, B.C., took the men's race in 58.86 seconds.

More than 600 swimmers are competing this week for spots on six Canadian teams: the FINA world championships, the world para championships, the Pan American Games, the Parapan American Games, the FISU Summer Universiade, and the FINA world junior championships.

WATCH | Complete coverage of Day 2:

2019 Canadian Swimming Trials from Toronto. 2:26:21

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