Penhale selected to Canada’s swim team

World-record holder Annamay Pierse headlines Canada’s 27-member swim team for next month’s Commonwealth Games.

OTTAWA — World-record holder Annamay Pierse headlines Canada’s 27-member swim team for next month’s Commonwealth Games.

The Games in New Delhi, India, are an important event in the leadup to the 2012 London Olympics, says the breastroker from Edmonton.

“It’s another great opportunity to race against some of the best in the world,” Pierse said in a release. “On top of that, I’ve always wanted to go to India, so I’m really excited to represent Canada at the Games.”

The team was selected based on performances at last week’s Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, Calif., and the 2010 world para swimming championships, and also includes Sean Penhale of Lacombe, a former member of the Red Deer Catalina Swim Club.

“Our swimmers have demonstrated great Canadian pride over the past weeks,” said Swimming Canada’s CEO and national coach Pierre Lafontaine.

Canada captured 11 medals — two gold, two silver and seven bronze — at the Pan Pacs, the team’s highest total at the event since earning 11 in 1999.

The Games come at an odd time for swimmers, who are usually just beginning the season in October.

“It’s not the fastest swimmer in the world that will win the race, it’s the best one who will adapt on that day and get his hand on the wall first,” said former world champion Brent Hayden of Mission, B.C.

Hayden capped the 2009-10 season with the second fastest time in the world in the men’s 100-metre freestyle.

The Canadian swim team hold an eight-day training camp in Singapore prior to arriving in Delhi on Sept. 30. Swimming starts Oct. 4.