Swimmer Hannah hoping to make her mark in Tokyo

Halifax backstroker sets eyes on making Tokyo Games

Jade Hannah, Team Canada backstroker.
Jade Hannah listens to some music between events. Hannah is hoping to make Team Canada and compete at the Tokyo Olympics.  Ian MacNicol/Swimming Canada

Coming off a five-medal performance at the 2019 world junior swimming championships, Jade Hannah seemed to be a name to watch for Canadians ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Her rise then stalled as the COVID-19 pandemic delayed not only the Olympics, but all other swim meets.

Now back in the pool with competition underway again, the 19-year-old is focussed on regaining her momentum from 2019 and using it to qualify for the Summer Games when the 2021 Canadian Olympic Trials take place in Toronto from May 24-28.

“It’s given me a lot of confidence, honestly,” Hannah said, of her success at the world juniors. “Representing my country is always a great experience, and it always puts confidence in my backpack.”

Hannah got one of her first tastes of senior competition at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, reaching the finals in both of her disciplines, the 50-metre and 100-metre backstroke.  Still mostly used to junior events, the Halifax native is ready to level up.

“Honestly, there’s not much of a difference because I try to keep my head in my own lane,” said Hannah, on an internet interview. “The team is amazing, and I’m always looking up to the older swimmers for guidance. 

 “Whenever I get to race, I just love it, and having my team behind me, whether they’re juniors or seniors, it’s still a great experience.”

The pandemic’s interruption of her continued growth after strong 2018 and 2019 seasons could have been a major impediment, but instead she looked at the extra time as a gift as opposed to a setback.

“Me being younger, I’m at the beginning of my career, so this just gives me more time to train and prepare for Olympic Trials,” said Hannah. “Just being given this extra time and extra year can only benefit me.

“Obviously it’s been challenging, but I’ve taken some huge things away from this year and I wouldn’t change it.”

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Posted: Mar 14 2021 6:23 pm
Filed under: Sports Swimming Tokyo Olympics