Courtesy: Swimming Canada
WINNIPEG--Fifteen-year-old Jenna Gresdal of Toronto and Nandine Rolland of Montreal added their names to the Canadian Olympic team Saturday with big performances in the women's 50-metre freestyle at the Sears I Can Swim Summer Nationals swimming competition.
Gresdal clocked 25.93 seconds to tie for the gold with Marianne Limpert of Fredericton, already qualified for the Games. Both went under the 25.97 international qualifying standard. Rolland also went under standard at 25.94.
Limpert, who has already met Games standards in the 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle and two relays gave up her 50 freestyle spot to Rolland. The Canadian Olympic team now has 38 members- 19 men and 19 women.
Gresdal was taken aback with her showing. On Friday, the highly touted prospect thought she had squandered her Olympic opportunity by finishing a disappointing eighth in the 100 freestyle.
"I'm totally surprised to go this fast in the 50," said Gresdal who broke her personal best by a whopping 4/10ths of a second. "But I knew this was my last chance. After the 100, I was really upset with my performance but my coach said don't give up. I was able to erase the 100 from my mind today."
In the women's 50 backstroke, Jennifer Carroll of Montreal broke the Canadian record twice. In the semifinal she went 29.75 to eclipse the 29.86 national mark set by Glencora Maughan of Vancouver in 1998. Carroll, 19, then won the gold in the final in an even faster 29.45.
"I didn't even realize I broke the record initially in the semi," said Carroll. "My main focus was to win. I love this event even though it's not in the Olympics. This is the highlight of my career. It's dream come true."
Karine Legault of Montreal won her second gold taking the women's 400 freestyle while in the men's races, Morgan Knabe of Edmonton was first in the 100 breaststroke and Adam Sioui of Trenton, Ont., won the 200 butterfly.