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Okanagan swimmer Kierra Smith hoping to qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Click to play video: 'B.C. swimmer Kierra Smith hoping to qualify for Olympics' B.C. swimmer Kierra Smith hoping to qualify for Olympics
After making her Olympic debut in Rio in 2016, Kelowna swimmer Kierra Smith is looking to make a big splash in Tokyo this summer. But before Smith can return to the games, she'll head to Toronto next week in order to qualify for the 100-metre and 200-metre breaststroke races. – Jun 11, 2021

The Okanagan’s Kierra Smith doesn’t have much free time in her life right now.

“It’s all focus at this point,” Smith told Global News.

“Naps and swimming,” Smith added, smiling.

The 27-year-old swimmer is putting in a lot of ‘liquid laps’ in the Parkinson Rec Centre pool.

READ MORE: Training for Tokyo: B.C. swimmer Kierra Smith prepares for summer Olympics

“I’m preparing for Olympic trials,” Smith explained.

Next week, she’ll head to Toronto, where she’ll battle the nation’s best in the 100-metre and 200-metre breaststroke events for a chance to represent Canada in Tokyo this summer.

“We have amazing swimmers, especially in the last four years. They’re fast,” said Smith, who is confident she’ll qualify for the Games.

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“I have a chance at making the Olympic team,” Smith said.

“At this point, our female breaststrokers are so fast that if you’re on the (Olympic team), you have a shot at getting a medal — a serious shot.”

Winning an Olympic swimming medal is what Smith has been trying to do for the last five years.

Smith competed in the 200-metre breaststroke final at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

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“I touched the wall seventh in Rio, and I knew I had more in me,” Smith said of her last Olympic experience.

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“I was disappointed at the moment. Looking back, I’m proud of it, but I touched the wall seventh and I was disappointed. So going into these games, I want a medal.”

In order to achieve that, Smith is working hard to ensure her performance at its peak.

“I’m in the pool nine times a week and I’m in the gym twice a week,” Smith said.

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Okanagan athlete eyeing return to Olympics Games, 17 years after first trip – Jun 8, 2021

Smith does strength training with Okanagan Peak Performance’s Chris Collins, who has worked with Smith for several years.

“Her numbers are up; she’s just strong,” Collins said.

“We know from the past when she’s put up best performances is when she’s been her strongest. So that bodes going into trials and the Olympics,” Collins added.

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Smith is only envisioning one outcome in Toronto and that’s touching the wall first in qualifying.

“Everything I do is directed at going to the Olympics this summer,” she said.

Smith competes in the 100-metre breaststroke on Sunday, June 20, and the 200-metre breaststroke on Tuesday, June 22.

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