On the 5th day of Canadian Olympic Trials, six more swimmers were added to the Canada’s nomination list, bringing the overall total to 29, two more than for the Beijing Games in 2008. In the women’s 200 breaststroke, Tera Van Beilen clocked 2:24.03 to nab a second Olympic assignment, with Martha McGabe also qualifying in 2:24.81, both coached by breaststroke coaching guru Jozsef Nagy in Vancouver. Julia Wilkinson collected a third and fourth Olympic assignment by winning the 100 freestyle in 54.73, Victoria Poon (54.86), Heather MacLean (55.06) and Samantha Cheverton (55.24) also qualifying for the 4×100 freestyle relay. Savannah King qualified for a second event by winning the 800 freestyle in 8:30.79, Alex Komarnycky also qualifying in 8:33.32. Joe Bartoch added his name to the nomination list by winning the men’s 100 butterfly in 53.01, and Tobias Oriwol of Toronto by winning the 200 backstroke in 1:58.79.
On a sad note, world record holder Annamay Pierse didn’t make the Olympic team, ending up 5th in the women’s 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:27.14. She contracted Dengue fever when competing at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and never really recovered.
“Itâ€™s been the hardest two-three years of my life,â€™â€™ said a tearful Pierse, a silver medallist at the 2009 worlds. â€˜â€™I didnâ€™t have enough time. Iâ€™m heartbroken I wonâ€™t be in London but Iâ€™ll be 100 percent behind them. They are my family.”