Joshua Liendo and his coach Murray Drudge of North York Aquatic Club are the 2017-18 recipients of the Jeno Tihanyi Bursary.
The bursary is awarded each year to a coach-athlete tandem who work together to achieve ambitious goals. The bursary acknowledges the potential for high performance through the financial support of training, as well as competitive and professional development opportunities.
Liendo performed well at the Winnipeg 2017 Canada Games, winning gold medals in the 50-m butterfly and four relays. He also took silver medals in the 100 and 200-m butterfly. The latter was a gruelling battle that saw him come a quarter-second behind Cole Pratt of Alberta in 2:03.68, as both went more than a second under the previous national 13-14 age group record.
Liendo also set the 100-m freestyle age group record (52.14) at Canada Games to lead off Ontario’s gold medal 4×100 free relay.
Earlier in the summer he set the national age group record of 54.76 to take gold (14-16) in the 100 fly at the RBC Canadian Junior Championships.
“Josh’s racing was really exciting, showing potential in speed by breaking the Canadian record in the 100 free and 100 fly and guts and determination in the 200 fly in his head-to-head knuckle-biter race with Cole Pratt at the Canada Games,” said National Development Coach Ken McKinnon. “Josh’s potential for high performance is high. He’s doing the right things in training and racing with no fear.”
The 15-year-old recently returned from the National Development Team Program Male Training Camp in Trinidad.
“He’s among the best young talents to come around for a long time in Canada,” said Drudge.
“Josh has very much become the spirit of the group; his talent is just the beginning of a young man who dreams about representing his country and the journey to get there.”
Funds would help expose him to competitions and programs to develop him as a potential member of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic team.
“My goals are to try to make the Junior Pan Pacific team, if I’m good enough the senior Pan Pacs, and hopefully I’ll try to get the national age group record in the 100 fly again in 15-17,” Liendo said.
Dr. Jeno Tihanyi or “Doc” left an invaluable legacy to amateur sport in Canada. Doc’s coaching career in Canadian swimming spanned a remarkable 51 years. He was well known for his popular coaching philosophy not to push performance, but rather push improvement. Doc always demonstrated his ability to teach, coach, mentor, and lead. The Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Bursary was established to remember Doc, his contribution to competitive swimming in Canada, and to encourage other coaches and swimmers to work closely together toward excellence.