Canadian swimmers look to continue their World Cup success this weekend in Toronto
The Canadian swim team picked up where it left off after a strong 12-month streak marked by success at the Summer Olympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Canada kicked off the FINA World Cup circuit last weekend in Berlin with 10 podiums. The national team will look to build on that performance this weekend at the Pan Am Sports Center in Toronto.
“We continue to push each other and ultimately continue to challenge each other to be better every day,” said four-time Olympic medalist Kylie Masse. « When you do that and everyone is constantly pushing the limits, it’s amazing. »
Masse, a native of LaSalle, Ont., is coming off a World Cup victory in the women’s 50-metre backstroke. She added the money in the 100 and 200.
The 26-year-old has stood on the podium in every major encounter she has appeared in since the Rio Olympics in 2016. She feels recharged after taking a full month off during the summer.
« I find it really motivating to be able to reflect on the fact that there are a lot of things I need to work on, » she said. « So I’m thrilled (for) the challenge of these upcoming fixtures and this fall. »
Summer McIntosh of Toronto is another headliner among a Canadian contingent that includes Maggie Mac Neil of London, Ont., Javier Acevedo of Toronto, Tessa Cieplucha of Georgetown, Ont., and Josh Liendo native Markham, Ont.
International stars like Australian Kyle Chalmers, American Hali Flickinger and reigning Men’s World Cup winner Matthew Sates of South Africa are also on the pitch.
Penny Oleksiak of Toronto, who is still recovering from knee surgery, will not compete.
Around 1,000 swimmers from 60 countries will race for US$224,000 in prize money at the event, which begins Friday morning and runs through Sunday.
McIntosh had a stellar performance at the venue last summer during the Olympic trials. She won gold in the 200 and 800 meter freestyle to qualify for the Games at the age of 14.
In Tokyo, McIntosh narrowly missed the podium in the 400 freestyle and 4×200 relay. She won gold medals in the 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley at the world championships in Budapest last August.
« She’s mature and she knows what she wants, » said Suzanne Paulins, director of operations and sport development for Swimming Canada. « She just seems to be into it. »
Canada won 20 medals in swimming at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, weeks after winning 11 medals at the world championships.
Canada won six swimming medals at the Tokyo Games last year.
« You’re doing it right, » Chalmers said of the national program. « And it’s exciting to have someone like Summer who is a once-in-a-generation athlete who is going to have an incredible career. »
There are 21 members of the Canadian team ready to compete this weekend. The heats are scheduled for Friday morning and the women’s 50 freestyle will kick off the finals in the evening.
Indianapolis will host the next leg of the World Cup Nov. 3-5.
FINA World Cup Live Stream Schedule
- Friday, October 28: Morning Session (9:28 a.m. ET), Evening Session (5:53 p.m. ET)
- Saturday October 29: Morning Session (9:28 a.m. ET), Evening Session (5:53 p.m. ET)
- Sunday October 30: Morning Session (9:28 a.m. ET), Evening Session (5:53 p.m. ET)