Penny Oleksiak, Kylie Masse among six swimmers named early to Canadian Olympic team

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TORONTO — Penny Oleksiak and Kylie Masse were among six swimmers named early to Canada's Olympic team Friday.

Swimming Canada nominated Olympic champion Oleksiak of Toronto, world backstroke champion Masse of LaSalle, Ont., world butterfly champion Margaret Mac Neil of London, Ont., Taylor Ruck of Kelowna, B.C., Sydney Pickrem of Halifax and Markus Thormeyer of Newmarket, Ont., to the Canadian team for the Tokyo Summer Games.

Also, the Olympic and Paralympic trials in Toronto originally scheduled for April have been delayed until May.

The Canadian women's swim team won six of Canada's 22 medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

The 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo were postponed until July 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has interrupted training and decimated the competition calendar for Canadian athletes.

Swimming Canada invoked the unexpected or usual circumstances clause in its selection process to choose the half-dozen swimmers before trials.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press