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Storylines to watch at the inaugural Canadian Swimming Open

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Canadian Swimming Open 2024

The Speedo Canadian Swimming Open makes its debut this week, taking place Wednesday through Saturday at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

The endurance race is the last chance for many Canadian athletes to improve their times and qualify The 2024 Olympic and Paralympic swimming trials will take place in mid-May.

As the high-stakes competition begins tomorrow morning, below are some storylines to watch out for at the meeting.

Olympic gold medalist Maggie MacNeil We want to refine the racing plans before Paris

Maggie MacNeil She won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the 2021 Olympics and will look to defend her title again this summer, using the Speedo Canadian Swimming Open as an opportunity to see where she stands a month after the trials .

MacNeil is listed as the top seed in the 50 free and 100 fly and also holds the No. 3 seed in the 100 free and No. 23 in the 100 back.

Unless she changes her mind, the Paris Games will be her final Olympic venture; MacNeil recently announced plans to retire after the competition. Originally planning to retire to Tokyo, MacNeil extended her career after feeling like she missed out on certain opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MacNeil already has numerous swimming successes. In addition to her Olympic gold, she won a silver and a bronze medal in Tokyo, broke two world records and collected countless victories and medals at SC World Championships, LC World Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the Pan Bin Games throughout her career.

MacNeil has expressed her hope of attending law school after completing her swimming career.

Summer McIntosh Takes on a variety of events

All eyes will be on the 17-year-old Summer McIntosh in the run-up to the Olympics in July after she fell Katie Ledecky in the 800 free at the Southern Zone Senior Championships, ending Ledecky's 13-year undefeated streak in the event.

Although Ledecky still holds the world record, McIntosh's performance made her the second fastest woman in the event and made her a name to watch in the swimming world. McIntosh has focused primarily on middle-distance racing, but her victory over Ledecky raised questions about whether she would compete in the 800 free at the Olympics this summer.

McIntosh is not in the 800 free at this meet; She is scheduled to compete in additional stroke and middle distance competitions. McIntosh did not compete at the World Championships in Doha, so this meet provides an opportunity to preview certain events before solidifying his lineup for the Canada Olympics.

She swims many events that she probably won't swim in this summer, including the 200 IM. We can interpret this in two ways: either she's trying to achieve fast times in events she won't be swimming in this summer (which puts her plan on the 200 IM), or she's competing in swimming meets to help Canada get involved help find stagger options. In any case, it's exciting to watch one of the world's best young talents compete in swimming that you don't normally see from her at major meets.

McIntosh is the top seed in the 200 free and 200 IM, #2 seed in the 100 back, 100 free, 100 fly and 50 free and #7 seed in the 100 breast.

Nicholas Bennett is preparing for the Olympic repeat

20 years old Nicholas Bennett He had a major international breakthrough in 2023 when he won his first world titles at the World Para Swimming Championships in Manchester. He won the S14 200m free and the 200 IM before taking home a silver medal in the 100m breaststroke. Bennett will repeat those events at the Open in addition to competing in the 50 breaststroke championship.

Bennett was born with autism and became one of Canada's top Paralympic swimmers at just 15 years old. He won three gold medals and one silver medal at the 2019 Parapan American Games and made it to the finals in three disciplines at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. He placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke, sixth in the 200 free and seventh in the 200 IM.

Aiming for the podium this year, Bennett's performance in Toronto will provide a taste of what awaits him at the subsequent Paralympic Trials and Paralympic Games. He is ranked No. 19 in the 50 IM, No. 21 in the 200 IM and No. 28 in the 100 IM. Bennett will also race in the S14 200 Free, in which he is the only competitor.

Penny Oleksiak Seems to be getting back into racing shape

Two-time Olympian Penny Oleksiak returns to competitive swimming after a break from sport. The Open will be her second major swimming meet after not competing for nearly a year and battling knee and ankle injuries. She competed in the Pro Swim Series at Westmont.

Oleksiak also recently switched training and joined Jeff Julian's professional group at Mission Viejo Nadadores in Southern California. The move led to a reunion with his former training partner and Canadian teammate Kayla Sanchez.

Oleksiak, Canada's most decorated Olympian of all time, made her Olympic debut at just 16 years old. She won four medals in Rio, including a gold medal in the 100m free. She won three more medals in Tokyo, securing a silver medal in the 400-meter free relay and two bronze medals in the 200-meter free and 400-meter medley relay.

Oleksiak is ranked No. 4 in the 100 free, No. 11 in the 200 free and No. 13 in the 50 free.

Tristan Jankovics is about to make a breakthrough in court proceedings

Ohio State University sophomore Tristan Jankovics will compete against a diverse roster at the Open as he makes final preparations for the Canadian Olympic Trials.

Jankovics qualified for trials in the 200m backstroke and 400m IM in 2020 at the age of 15, but ended up not competing after the meet was postponed due to Covid. Since then he has improved his times across the board and is now ranked internationally in several events.

Jankovics was the third-fastest Canadian in the 400-meter dash and second-fastest in the 200-meter dash this year, making his chances of qualifying for the Olympic team this summer very promising. He has spoken about it in interviews His goal is to make his Olympic debut this yearSo it's no surprise that he'll be preparing for a remarkable breakthrough with his competitive lineup at the Canadian Swimming Open.

Jankovics is the top seed in the 400 IM and 200 back, No. 2 in the 200 IM, No. 3 in the 200 free, No. 5 in the 100 back, No. 13 in the 200 breast and No. 33 in the 200 IM 400 free.