RIO DE JANEIRO – Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., won the gold medal Saturday in the solo event at the Brazil Open synchronized swimming competition.
The event is an important tune-up for the Canadian synchronized swimming team as it prepares for the 2011 Pan American Games, the first opportunity for the national team to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Shanghai next month.
Boudreau-Gagnon placed first with 189.05 points earning 93.813 for her technical routine on Friday and 95.238 in Saturday’s free program. Giovana Stephan of Brazil was second at 173.464 and Monica Arango of Colombia third at 162.076.
"My coach and teammates came to me afterwards and said that was the best they’ve ever seen me swim,’’ said Boudreau-Gagnon, 28, ranked third in the world. ‘’It’s a program that I’m comfortable with and that was evident in the water. I wanted to do a strong performance here to show I still belong in the top-three in the world.’’
In the team event, Canada took the lead after Saturday’s tech routine earning 93.238 points. The Canadian swimmers were Boudreau-Gagnon, Jo-Annie Fortin of Montreal, Chloé Isaac of Brossard, Que., Ève Lamoureux of Montreal, Stéphanie Leclair of Gatineau, Que., Tracy Little of Pointe-Claire, Que., Élise Marcotte of l’Ancienne-Lorette, Que., and Valérie Welsh of St-Nicholas, Que.
‘’There was a lot of energy in our program but there are still two elements we need to improve for the worlds and Pan Ams,’’ said Marcotte. ‘’We’re on the right track and we’re going to keep working hard so when we arrive at the big events we will have no doubts.’’
Brazil is second at 88.525 and the U.S., third at 88.063.
Competition ends Sunday with finals in duet, featuring Boudreau-Gagnon and Marcotte, and in team competition.
About Synchro Canada
Synchro Canada is the national organization governing synchronized swimming in Canada. It represents 10 provincial associations, a territorial association, as well as some 150 clubs and 12,000 members across Canada. A member of FINA, the world’s governing aquatic sports organization, Synchro Canada promotes the quest for excellence by developing the athletes, citizens and ambassadors of the sport of synchronized swimming at every level. Synchro Canada would like to thank its sponsors:
Official partner: Epiderma
Program partners: Sport Canada, Own The Podium, B2ten, the Centre national multisport-Montréal
Official suppliers: Speedo, AdUp, MKI Travel, National Car Rental
Official Charity Partner: Plan Canada’s Because I am A Girl Program
For further information, visit Synchro Canada’s Website at www.synchro.ca or follow Synchro Canada on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
For more information:
Cell.: (514) 213-9897
Website : www.synchro.ca
Facebook: Synchro Canada
Twitter : www.twitter.com/synchrocanada