The artistic swimming events of the 2019 Pan Am Games got underway on Monday at the Centro Aquatico Villa Deportiva Nacional – VIDENA in Lima, Peru. Team Canada seized the day, placing first in both the duet and team technical events, and now stands poised to repeat as double Pan Am gold medalists and to earn their qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Just days after the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, where the Canadians established themselves as favourites to get the Tokyo ticket for the Americas, Team Canada took to the pool with the intent to prove themselves all over again, to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

In the morning session, Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau delivered a highly connected rendition of their technical program that earned them a season-high 89.3443 points, more than 3 points over the Mexican duet in second place.

“We have a great emotional connection when we swim, and we knew right away – the moment we finished – that it was going to be a good score,” said Holzner after the performance.

In the evening session, the team technical event, Team Canada was swimming in 6th place, immediately after its closest competitors, USA and Mexico. A strong performance put them in first place with 88.9398, giving them a lead of 2.7 points over Mexico going into the free routine.

« We’re very happy to be in first place and to have established a bit of a gap, and we can’t wait for the free routine, » stated Rebecca Harrower. « It’s a very strong, powerful routine, with spectacular highlights, so we’re looking forward to show it to the outstanding crowd here in Lima.”

The competition concludes tomorrow, July 31, with the presentation of the free routines.

Photo Credit: Felix Medina / PanAm Sports