Canada still very much in the hunt for Olympic team qualification 

The Team Free preliminary event was held in the morning session of Day 7 at the Doha World Championships. Still in the middle of a very tight race to determine the teams that will get the last 5 remaining qualification spots for the Paris Olympics, Canada was first to swim amongst the 16-team field.

As with the rest of the team competition, Canada was going into this event with a lower declared degree of difficulty than most of its competitors, betting instead on consistent, well-executed routines. Canada dove in for their high-energy Rocky-themed routine and executed all elements and hybrids as per declared difficulty but were penalized on their last acrobatic movement. Their final score was 268.5854, putting them in 9th place after the preliminary round and getting them into the all-important final tomorrow.

“We really took in the theme of this routine, went out and had fun” said team co-captain Kenzie Priddell after their performance.

“The goal today was to go and swim just like we do in practice,” added Sydney Carroll. “Nothing more, nothing less – just a strong, clean swim. We had a small little error that cost us some difficulty points but we know this is something we can fix so we’re super confident going into the final tomorrow.”

With 5 team spots available for the Paris Olympics, 3 countries (Japan, Spain and the United States) have a sizable lead after 2 events and will be hoping to confirm their spots in Friday’s finals. Israel and Greece trail behind a bit further and will need very strong performances in the finals, combined by some mishaps from the countries ahead of them to come through.

Fighting over the last 2 spots in an extremely tight race will be Canada, Italy and Ukraine. The Team Free finals, the last even of the competition for Team Canada, will be held tomorrow at 2pm local time, 6am EST. It will be webcast live on CBC Sports and Radio-Canada websites and apps.