Canada Qualifies Swimmers for London This Week

Ryan Cochrane was Canada's lone swimming medallist in Beijing.

Canadians will get a little advance taste of the 2012 Olympic Games this week as the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials take place Montreal. The swimming trials are the first major Canadian championship in 2012 to qualify athletes for the London Olympics. All of Canada’s top swimmers are in Montreal in hopes of making the team. The winner of each “A” final will automatically clinch a spot in London for that event. Canada can also qualify a second place finisher in each event, if they hit the pre-detirmined qualifying time.

Ryan Cochrane, the 1500m freestyle bronze medallist in Beijing, leads a strong group of Canadian swimmers into the trials. Cochrane won silver in the same event at the World Championships last year. He is also competing in the 400m freestyle.

Brent Hayden is among the other Canadians who have medal hopes in London. Hayden finished second at the World Championships in the 100m freestyle last year. He won gold at the same event in Melbourne at the 2007 World Championships.

Mike Brown is former World Championship silver medallist (2005 in Montreal) and Commonwealth Games gold medallist (2006 in Melbourne) in the 200m breaststroke. He competed in Beijing in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events. He set a Canadian record in the 200m final, finishing just out of the medals in fourth.

Martha McCabe was a surprise to win bronze at the 2011 World Championships in the 200m breaststroke. At 22 she is one of Canada’s up and coming stars in swimming. Annamay Pierse is also a force in the 200m breaststroke. She won silver at the 2009 World Championships in Rome and is the defending Olympic Trials champion from 2008. This is the marquee event at the 2012 Trials; the final is on Saturday night.

Audrey Lacroix is among the hometown favourites in Quebec. She won silver in the 200m butterfly at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Julia Wilkinson (who writes an excellent blog on CBC.ca) won two individual bronze medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She will try to qualify in multiple disciplines this week.

Sportsnet and Radio- Canada will broadcast coverage of the 2012 Trials. Rob Faulds, who called swimming at the 1992 Olympics for CTV (and is calling rowing in London) will work play-by-play alongside CTV’s London 2012 swimming analyst Joanne Malar. Catriona Le May Doan will host the broadcasts and report poolside.

Here is Sportsnet’s broadcast schedule. There are repeats later in the evening on the various Sportsnet channels.

Tuesday March 27 from 7-8pm ET on One/East
Wednesday March 28 from 7-8pm ET on One/East/Ontario
Thursday March 29 from 7-8pm ET on One
Friday March 30 from 10-11pm ET on One
Saturday March 31 from 8-9pm ET on One (repeat at 9pm local on regional channels)
Sunday April 1 from 7-8pm ET on One/East/Ontario/Pacific

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