World #1-Ranked Backstroker Ingrid Wilm Absent From Canadian SC Worlds Roster

Swimming Canada has released their 14-strong team for the 2021 Short Course World Championships in Kazan, Russia. The squad includes the majority of the team that Canada recently sent to the Tokyo Games and features one notable omission in the form of International Swimming League breakout star Ingrid Wilm.

Check out the full press release and roster here.

Wilm just missed Olympic qualification in the summer of 2021 when she swam under the FINA A standard in the 100 backstroke at Olympic Trials but placed 3rd to Kylie Masse and Taylor Ruck. Since then, however, Ingrid Wilm has had a dominant start to the 2021 ISL season where she’s racing for the LA Current.

Wilm’s absence from the roster is made most notable by the fact that she is the fastest woman in the world this year in the short course 100 backstroke, holding the top two times of 55.61 and 55.68 from Matches 8 and 5, respectively. She is also the 5th fastest 50 and 200 backstroker so far this year, holding a 26.08 in the former and 2:02.26 in the latter.

Wilm’s absence won’t leave Canada without some firepower in the backstroke events, however, as 4-time Olympic medalist Kylie Masse and versatile Olympic butterfly champion will be present in Dubai. Masse, who won silver in the 100 and 200 backstrokes in Tokyo, is also known for her short course talent and is currently ranked 3rd in the 50 and 100 this season, as well as 4th in the 200.

While she’s an Olympic gold medalist in the 100 butterfly, MacNeil is certainly capable of some world-class backstroke as well. At the recent FINA World Cup meet in Berlin, MacNeil threw down a 25.84 50 backstroke to lower Ingrid Wilm‘s Canadian record of 26.08 from Match 8.

Despite the fact that Masse and MacNeil will be medal threats in the backstroke, the fact that Wilm won’t be racing at Worlds means that we won’t see the world’s top-ranked 100 backstroker in the field. According to the selection procedures Wilm could have been selected at the discretion of Swimming Canada, but was not.

Swimming Canada FINA World Championships Selection Procedures

Priority 1 – Individual Event Selection: Results from the Selection Window for all eligible Swimmers who achieve the published 15th FINA World Swimming Championships ‘A’ 50m qualifying time standard (Appendix A) will be ranked using the FINA World Rankings as of September 8, 2021. The top eight Swimmers, regardless of gender, will be selected in rank order, to a maximum of two Swimmers per event and eight Swimmers in total.
Priority 2 – Individual Event Selection: Should any Team positions remain open after Priority 1, the Swimming Canada High-Performance Director has the sole discretion to add Swimmers to the Team, who have at minimum achieved the published 15th FINA World Swimming Championships ‘B’ 50m qualifying time standard (Appendix A), regardless of gender, to a maximum of one ‘B’ standard qualified, or two ‘A’ standard qualified Swimmers per event, and a maximum of eight swimmers in total, inclusive of those from Priority 1.

While Wilm likely wasn’t among the top 8 ranked swimmers based on the long course time standards that Swimming Canada relied on for Priority 1 selections, she was under the FINA A standards in the 100 backstroke and was under B standards in both the 50 and 200 backstrokes.

Considering that there is no mention of short course meters qualifying standards in the selection criteria, Wilm’s short course breakout this fall may have had no impact on her candidacy for the team.

Wilm isn’t the only elite backstroker who wasn’t named to the roster as Olympic medalist and current Stanford swimmer Taylor Ruck and Mary-Sophie Harvey are also not on the list. Ruck just returned to Stanford after a 2-year redshirt period while Harvey is currently racing in her third ISL season for Energy Standard.

Despite those omissions, Canada will be sending a solid roster to the Championships in December as 14 of Canada’s 2021 Olympians will be making the trip.

We haven’t seen much from Penny Oleksiak in terms of short course racing since her premier ISL season for Energy Standard, but her recent Olympic comeback displayed her continuing strength. Oleksiak picked up bronze in the Tokyo 200, as well as a 4th place finish in the 100 freestyle.

Summer McIntosh, who had a record-breaking ISL new meets after her Olympic debut will be a force to be reckoned with the freestyle events and will be joined by breaststroke/IM standouts Sydney Pickrem, Bailey Andison, and Tessa Cieplucha.

Rounding out the women’s roster will be the sprint freestyle/butterfly trio of Rebecca Smith, Kayla Sanchez, and Katerine Savard. On the men’s side, teen stars Finlay Knox, Cole Pratt, and Josh Liendo will follow up their Olympic debuts in Tokyo in Dubai, joined by 2-time Olympian Yuri Kisil.

Check out the full roster here:



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