Toronto, July 10, 2015Jacqueline Simoneau of St-Laurent (QC) and Karine Thomas of Gatineau (QC), are in first place after Thursday’s duet technical event as the synchronized swimming competition got underway at the CIBC Pan Am Aquatic Centre for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games.

Simoneau and Thomas earned 88.0881 and have a sizable lead over Karem Achach and Nuria Diosdado from Mexico, second with 84.4133, and Americans Mariya Koroleva and Alison Williams, in third place with 82.5209.

The technical routine scores will be added to Saturday’s free routines marks to calculate the final score.  The winning pair will be automatically qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

“We both had a lot of energy and we felt very tuned in during our whole routine,” said Simoneau. “This is a brand new routine that we’ve been working on since January, and we couldn’t wait to show it to our home crowd.”

Thomas was also pleased with their start to the Games.

“What a great way to start our competition!”, said Thomas, the only Canadian team member who was at the last Pan Am Games in 2011.  “Now we can turn our attention to Saturday’s free routine and make sure we deliver the performance that will give us our golden ticket to Rio”.

Their coach Meng Chen also gave two thumbs up to their performance: “The girls looked amazing today!  They were under a lot of pressure swimming in front of a home crowd but they completely took ownership of the pool.  They’ve made a lot of progress in the past few months, especially in their technical elements, which they performed really well today”.

Later in the day, the competition resumed with the Team Technical event in front of of large and very supportive home crowd. Canada, swimming last out of 8 countries, took first place again with a score of 87.9094, followed by Mexico at 85.6740 and the USA at 82.6018.

The Canadian swimmers were Gabriella Brisson of Calgary (AB), Annabelle Frappier of Saint-Hyacinthe (QC), Claudia Holzner of Calgary (AB), Marie-Lou Morin of Westmount (QC), Samantha Nealon of Morriston (ON), Lisa Sanders of Gormley (ON), Jacqueline Simoneau and Karine Thomas.

“Of course there were a bit of nerves as the time drew near today”, said Holzner, “but when we came out and heard the crowd roaring before they even announced our name, we realized all the support we have and felt an energy that carried us through our routine.  Our focus will now be on our free routine which is a lot more fun and exciting.  We can’t wait to show it to our home crowd!”

Competition concludes Saturday with the Duet and Team Free events, which will be presented live on

Events Schedule – Saturday, July 11 (live on

11:00am EDT – 12:00pm EDT Duet Free
03:00pm EDT – 4:00pm EDT Team Free


About Synchro Canada

Synchro Canada is an organization that fosters the pursuit of excellence while developing athletes, citizens, and ambassadors of the sport of synchronized swimming at all levels. From its 1924 beginnings in Montréal, synchronized swimming has been actively pursued by more than 70 countries worldwide. Canada proudly ranks among the best of these nations.

Synchro Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Program partners: Sport Canada, Own The Podium, the Institut national du sport du Québec

Official Aquatic Supplier: Speedo Canada

Official Suncare: Shiseido Canada

Official make up: MAKE UP FOR EVER

Official suppliers: AdUp, National Car Rental

Official hotel: Hilton Hotels Canada

For further information, visit Synchro Canada’s Website at or follow Synchro Canada on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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For information:

Stéphane Côté

Synchro Canada

Communications Coordinator

Email:  [email protected]

Cell.: (418) 420-2125