The Canadian Open synchronized swimming competition began on Wednesday, May 6 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and Jacqueline Simoneau started off the event with a silver medal for Canada.
The 2017 Canadian Open is the fourth competition of the newly created FINA Synchronised Swimming World Series. Simoneau scored 89.9691 in the Senior Solo Tech Routine to add a fifth medal to her season. Just nudging Simoneau out of the gold medal by less than a point was Ukraine’s Anna Voloshyna, who scored 90.8138. The bronze medal went to Colombia’s Daniela Dominguez Daza with a score of 73.1515.
Simoneau can see the progression of her routine since it was unveiled for the first time in Paris in March. “In France the routine was still quite new for me and so it was about giving me a chance to get the judges’ feedback and see if there were points that we could improve. Then in Japan it felt more like my routine, and I executed my elements a lot better. Competing here, less than a week later, I was really able to step it up. I corrected a few little mistakes that I made in Japan, but I felt like I really owned it.
The highlight for Simoneau was her combined spin, which is the second to last element in the program. “I was pleased to really nail it and keep my speed up all the way through. To be able to show consistency and the same speed throughout the element shows how strong I am technically.”
Voloshyna also saw improvement over her previous outing in Paris.”This is my second competition of the World Series. I feel better than in France because in one month I had more time for training and I felt much stronger here.”
Ukraine was the only competitor in the FINA Team Highlight category. Their routine received 90.5 points en route to the gold medal.
Canadian National Championships
The FINA World Series event is being held for the first time along with the Canadian National Synchronized Swimming Championships. The first event was competed on Tuesday May 2nd. Emily Armstrong is in 1st place following the Junior Solo Prelims, which started with a field of 21 athletes. The top 10 will advance to the finals on Thursday. Armstrong, who is coached by Jennifer Koptie at RTC-Ontario, had a routine score of 82.1667. In second place is Cassandra Winkelaar who swims for the Calgary Aquabelles and is coached by Jennifer Tregale and Courtney Grant. Her score of 79.1667 kept her ahead of her Calgary Aquabelles’ clubmate, Paige Hopper who finished in third with a score of 77.8333.
In Junior Figures, Halle Pratt of the Calgary Aquabelles was first with a score of 78.1515 followed by Emily Armstrong of RTC-Ontario with 77.1697. Cassandra Winkelaar, also of the Calgary Aquabelles, placed third with 75.7394.
Taking the Senior Solo Canadian National Championship title in the Tech Routine with a score of 83.9446 was Halle Pratt of the Calgary Aquabelles. Competing for the first time at the senior level, as well as in the junior event, Emily Armstrong of RTC-Ontario was second with 81.0052 and in third was Calgary Aquabelles’ Cassandra Winkelaar with 76.9747 points.
In the Prelims of the Junior Duet, the entry list of 21 pairs will be narrowed to 10 to swim the finals on Friday. In first place, once the figures and the routine scores were combined, are Natalie Neufeld/Louisa Strutynski, from the Aquabelles, with 149.1303. In second with a score of 148.8031 was the duet of Sion Ormond/Jaiden Reigner. In a very tight race, Katherine Demond/Laurence Levasseur, from Québec Excellence Synchro, are in third with a score of 148.5454. Two other pairs from RTC-Ontario are in a close battle for a podium position. Olivia Jensen-Large/Maura McLean,, were fourth with 148.4364 points and Sabrina Barnes/Kristin Stremlaw sit fifth with a score of 148.0394.
All-event tickets for the event are $40 for adults, $30 for children under 15 or individual tickets will cost $15/adult and $12 under 15 at the door.
A full schedule of events, results and start lists can be found here.
The Canadian Open will be live streamed to viewers around the world
For more information on the FINA Synchronized Swimming World Series, visit: http://www.fina.org/news/fina-launches-new-synchro-world-series