Slow start dooms Canada’s Sydney Pickrem in 200m individual medley final

Halifax’s Sydney Pickrem was unable to continue Canada’s medal run in the pool at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday in Japan.

The 24 year-old finished sixth with a time of two minutes 10.05 seconds in the women’s 200-metre individual medley, 1.53 seconds behind gold medallist Yui Ohashi of Japan.

American Alex Walsh took the silver medal in 2:08.65 with fellow American Kate Douglass earning bronze with a time of 2:09.04.

For Pickrem, her time in the final was slower than in qualifying and well off her personal best of 2:08.61. The second half of the race is typically her strength, but she sat seventh after the first 100 metres, ultimately leaving too much ground to make up.

WATCH | Pickrem swims to 6th in 200 individual medley:

Japan’s Yui Ohashi swam to Olympic gold in the women’s 200-metre individual medley, while Halifax’s Sydney Pickrem finished in sixth place. 8:42

Pickrem also finished sixth in this event in Rio, and came to Tokyo with the goal of soaking in the Olympic experience.

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“I look back at my last Olympics and I don’t think I enjoyed much of the process of it,” she told CBC Sports ahead of the Games. 

“I want to enjoy what it means and how special it is. We’re going to be part of something historic. I just want to race my best.”

She is slated to race in the 200 breaststroke heats later Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Pickrem withdrew from the 400 individual medley with what Canadian swim officials said were “medical reasons not related to COVID.”

Pickrem was born in Florida and is a dual Canadian-American citizen. She competes collegiately for Texas A&M University.

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