There were four Canadian entries In Day 2 of the Canadian edition of the 2021 FINA Artistic Swimming World Series, held virtually. And they produced excellent results for the host country.
The day started off with 12 entries in the Solo Free event. Taking first place, and the gold medal, was Canada’s Jacqueline Simoneau, who had just completed her two-week travel quarantine in time to record her performance. She scored 90.7000 for the routine choreographed by coach Karine Doré especially for this competitive season. It features an opening combined spin figure with incredible height and ends with a long, combined twist spin to the music of SOS d’un terrien en détresse (SOS from an earthling in distress), taken from the famous Quebec Rock Opera Starmania, and sung by Kazakh artist Dimash Qudaibergen.
Finishing second to earn silver, Anita Alvarez was awarded a score of 87.0667. She chose the song/spoken word Confessions by Jessie J because she appreciates how it talks about how to love what you do, and how to empower yourself. Representing her country for the first time was Asaka Hosokawa from Japan. She scored 84.7333 swimming to Tears of the Sun, a Hans Zimmer theme of hope and peace, to earn bronze.
It was the first senior solo event for Canada’s Rosalie Boissonneault of Drummondville, QC. She chose music that showcased her ability for control as well as power and flexibility as she portrayed leopard-like grace and power. She scored 80.5667 in her international debut, earning the 8th best routine score in the event.
In the Male Solo Free event that followed, Jimma Iwasaki from Japan took gold, earning a score of 81.8667 for his routine to a combination of music from a House of Flying Daggers and Memoirs of a Geisha. Second in the field was Fernando Diaz Del Rio Soto from Spain. He scored 79.7000 for his romantic routine swum to Shape of my Heart by Katia Labèque and Sting.
Next was the Duet Free event. Anita Alvarez and Lindi Schroeder from the USA, who have only been training as a pair for one year, took first place with a score of 86.3333 for their interpretation of Bad Guy by Billie Eilish, winning their second gold of the competition after yesterday’s win in the duet technical event. The pair from Spain, Gema Arquero Ortiz and Gabriela Fernandez Ceppi took second place, scoring 84.5000. The long-time partners used an Electronic remix for their routine. Two countries tied for third place with identical scores of 82.5667. Germany’s Marlene Bojer and Michele Zimmer reflected their own personalities in A Big Part of a Big Sun while Japan’s Yuriko Mitsuhashi and Asaka Hosokawa carried a puppet theme throughout their routine to music from Grand Theft Auto IV.
Taking 5th spot were Scarlett Finn and Emma Spott, who competed together for the first time internationally for Canada. Their unique choreography, created by Denise Sauvé, was set to music composed by Thomas Bergersen. They demonstrated the strength and closeness of athletes, using a mirror effect to portray their theme of unity, and scored 81.2667 in their debut on the senior stage.
In the Mixed Duet Free event, Russia’s Aleksandr Maltsev earned gold again after his victory in the technical event yesterday. This was Maltsev’s third gold medal of the competition, after his win in the male solo technical event on Saturday. Swimming to The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, Malstev and partner Olesia Platonova scored 92.4667. Spain’s Emma Garcia and Pau Ribes were second in the field of five, scoring 85.9333 for their interpretation of the Broadway Musical Cats. In third place were the two from Japan, Hiyori Okano and Yotaro Sato who scored 77.7333 for their Jumpin’ Jack by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
USA topped the Team Free event with their routine to Robot Boys, which featured their classic running man arms signature ending. They scored 89.0667, finishing ahead of Spain, who earned silver with 86.5000 to music from the Cirque du Soleil soundtrack of Avatar. Belarus rounded out the three-team field in third, scoring 83.1000 for their routine “Victory Story” portraying danger, escape, resistance, and offence.
Canada took first place with a score of 87.9667 in the Highlight Team event, for their routine that started off with a series of four acrobatic moves. It featured a challenging dive acrobatic, that the flyers have been working on with one of Canada’s National Team Diving coaches. Choreographer Denise Sauvé calls this program the New Power Generation due to the strength, power, creativity and explosion of movement throughout. The team members for Canada were:
Rosalie Boissonneault (Drummondville, QC)
Sydney Carroll (Saskatoon, SK)
Andrée-Anne Côté (Saint-Georges, QC)
Camille Fiola-Dion (Rimouski, QC)
Rebecca Harrower (Edmonton, AB)
Audrey Joly (Saint-Eustache, QC)
Raphaëlle Plante (Québec City, QC)
Halle Pratt (Calgary, AB)
Kenzie Priddell (Regina, SK)
Kiara Quieti (Montreal, QC)
Taking second in this event was Belarus with a score of 82.5000 for their Hardrock routine, swum to music of Depeche Mode and Marilyn Manson.
The two-day virtual event concluded with a variety of creative performances in the non-competitive Exhibition Gala, placed in settings that were only made possible by the virtual format of the competition.
First-time commentator and two-time Olympian, Karine Thomas, enjoyed her work on the virtual event. “I was just really impressed with what we were able to see and do. I am really proud of Canada Artistic Swimming for putting this together. Performing in-person in real time is super valuable but there is definitely something to be said for virtual competitions. I hope that one day we might be able to see a merging of the two, some virtual and some in-person. I think it’s the beginning of something really interesting for the future.”
Next up for artistic swimming athletes is the FINA ASWS Super Final. It will be held in Barcelona, Spain on June 10-13 in parallel with FINA’s Artistic Swimming Olympic Qualification Tournament. That event will determine the athletes/countries for the remaining places for the Tokyo Olympic Games. All national federations can compete at the 2021 Super Final in Barcelona, and those who have competed in at least two of the ASWS 2021 legs will earning points towards prize money.
Final results are available on the event website and on the FINA website, and the full event is available to watch on demand at: artisticswimming.ca/ASWS2021