CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia sophomore Aimee Canny booked her ticket to this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris by achieving the required qualifying time in the opening leg of the 4x200m freestyle relay at the South Africa Olympic Trials today. Canny is a native of Knysna, South Africa.

Canny swam a time of 1:56.80, well below the required standard of 1:57.26. Her time was also a South African record that had stood for 10 years and also the African continental record set in 2008. Earlier in the week Canny just missed qualifying in the 200 freestyle by .13 seconds when she won that event with a time of 1:57.39. Canny competes for the Western Cap Aquatics team in her home country.

“I don’t think I have the words right now to describe it,” Canny said. “I’m super-happy with that swim. It was just a great swim. It’s pretty surreal right now. It’s something I’ve been practicing and training for this moment so it’s so weird that it’s come true.

“I had a good day to just process everything and then I was like, I’m ready, I want to go again,” Canny said of coming close in the 200 free. “I knew .1 [of a second] is nothing, especially in a 200. I knew I was there.”

This year Canny helped UVA to a fourth consecutive NCAA team championship. She earned All-America honors in the 800 free relay, the 200 free and the 200 breast. She was the ACC Champion in the 200 free and the 800 free relay. This this year’s NCAA meet, she played sixth in the 200 free with a personal best short-course time of 1:42.33 that ranks as the third-best performance in UVA history.