Still riding high from its 4th place finish in the Acrobatic Routine event on Sunday, Canada had only a short window to regroup and prepare for the Team Technical preliminary round held in Monday’s morning session, a mere 20 hours later.
The short turnaround didn’t seem to affect the team who delivered another confident performance that was awarded its full difficulty score by the judges and a score of 259.4950. Leaving the pool in first position with 12 teams to go, Canada ended up being overtaken by only a handful of teams and finished in 5th position, behind China, Japan, Spain and the USA.
“We’re so very proud and connected right now,” said team co-captain Kenzie Priddell. “Of course we were nervous and aware of the pressure of the moment, but somehow, at the same time, we’ve developed this trust and when the time came, you could feel the calm come over us.”
Canada went into the event with the 8th highest degree of difficulty, a challenging 40.4000 with a particularly demanding second hybrid. Priddell offered some thoughts on facing the challenge of a high difficulty routine:
“When fatigue hits, you really have to keep your focus, trust the teammates around you, know you’re going to do your job but also know you’re going to be able to adapt no matter what happens.”
Team members were Sydney Carroll, Scarlett Finn, Audrey Lamothe, Raphaelle Plante, Kenzie Priddell, Claire Scheffel, Jacqueline Simoneau and Florence Tremblay.
While the Team Technical program is an event of its own at the World Championships, it’s also the second of three team events that will be aggregated to determine the 5 last countries to qualify for the Paris Olympics. By virtue of its Team Acrobatic results, Canada is currently in third place within the non-qualified teams, and will be looking to maintain its position tomorrow in the Team Technical finals, which get underway at 2pm local time, 6am EST.
Duet Technical claims 7th position
In the afternoon session, the top 12 pairs from the preliminary round squared up for the Duet Technical Finals, with competitors looking to reach the podium but also jostling for position in the Olympic qualification race.
Entering the event in 8th position, Audrey Lamothe and Jacqueline Simoneau managed to tweak their routine to raise their declared degree of difficulty by 1.8 points, to 36.2. They proceeded to swim a clean routine that left the judges no choice but to award them full difficulty points, for a final score of 247.1533, good for 7th position. The Chinese pair of Wang Liuyi and Wang Qianyi won gold, followed by the duets from Great Britain and Spain.
“We took a big risk today by completely changing our first figure to increase our degree of difficulty and to give ourselves a chance to move up in the rankings and position ourselves for Olympic Qualification,” said Simoneau after their performance. “We practiced it a bunch of times in the last few days, but it was our first time doing it as a part of the whole routine in competition. For Audrey to have managed to pull this off with all this pressure at a World Championships – I just couldn’t be prouder.”
Lamothe is just grateful to be able to benefit from her partner’s extensive experience.
“Jacqueline has been with me every step of the way since we started training together, and I know I can count on her. In the last call room, before we went in, I just had to look in her eyes and I knew she fully trusted me to be able to pull this off, and it gave me this calm confidence as I stepped on the stage.”
The Duet Technical event was the first half of the qualification process for the Paris Olympic Games. There are a minimum of 3 spots and a maximum of 5 spots available, depending on which teams qualify, since qualified teams also include a duet. The quest for qualification will resume on Wednesday with the presentation of the Duet Free preliminary round.
Upcoming events – Tuesday, February 6
In addition to the Team Technical program in the afternoon session, the solo events will reach their conclusion in Doha with the presentation of the Solo Free finals starting at 8pm local time, noon EST. Jacqueline Simoneau, who enters the event in third position, will be going for another medal after this weekend’s silver in the solo tech event.
How to watch
Visit our website for schedules, start lists, results and links to streaming platforms to watch all World Championships events live and on demand.