SHENZHEN, China – Canada’s Markus Thormeyer has started the new year with a win at the FINA Champions Swim Series.
The 22-year-old from Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre – Vancouver won the men’s 200-metre backstroke title at Wednesday’s event in Shenzhen, China.
Thormeyer was clocked in 1:59.02 while runner-up Adam Telegdy of Hungary had a time of 1:59.15. Thormeyer led by almost a full second at the 150-m mark and then held off a late push by the Hungarian challenger.
“It was pretty nice to get up and race in early January against the best in the world,” said Thormeyer. “It wasn’t easy but I still did the best I could and walked away with a win which I’m super proud of. Hopefully I can build off this for the rest of the year leading into the Olympic trials in March and April.”
Thormeyer, who finished eighth in the 200 at last year’s FINA World Championships, was also third in Tuesday’s 100-metre backstroke with a time of 54.54. Two-time world champion Xu Jiayu of China won that race in 53.01.
Meanwhile, Pickrem, who won three bronze medals at the 2019 FINA World Championships, placed second in the women’s 200-m individual medley on Wednesday.
The 22 -year-old swam a time of 2:10.84 behind only Olympic and four-time world champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, who stopped the clock in 2:10.42.
“I think we’re not really used to such a fast field in January,” said Hosszu, who also captured gold in the 200 fly. “So, it’s definitely exciting. Everyone needs to get ready in these days in January.”
“I actually skipped Christmas this year,” she added. “I went to a training camp right after the short course Europeans. I’ve been training for the past four weeks. I was really happy with some races and respective times.
The series resumes on the weekend in the Chinese capital of Beijing.