Fresh from a highly successful FINA Artistic Swimming World Series (ASWS) Super Final in Barcelona, Spain, Canada’s National Artistic Swimming team has moved on to Budapest, Hungary to continue training for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Canada won 7 medals (5 gold, 2 bronze) at the recent Super Final and was awarded the overall team trophy presented by the City of Barcelona at the event. In the FINA ASWS rankings, Canada took first place in the Solo category, which Jacqueline Simoneau dominated, and second in the Duet for Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau. Canada finished fifth in the Team standings. In total, the team was awarded $73,000 USD in prize money.
The team remained in Europe to train at facilities in Budapest, Hungary. They will continue training there until early July before returning to Canada.
Team Canada will also have an opportunity to participate in the Hungarian Open invitational competition while they are there.
The athletes training in Budapest are Emily Armstrong, Rosalie Boissonneault, Andrée-Anne Côté, Scarlett Finn, Camille Fiola-Dion, Claudia Holzner, Audrey Joly, Kenzie Priddell, Halle Pratt, Jacqueline Simoneau and Emma Spott.
With respect to the previously reported complaint against Head Coach, Gabor Szauder, the external, third-party Discipline Panel completed its process and rendered a decision in early June following six days of hearings, during which 14 witnesses, including an expert witness, were heard. The Panel dismissed all the allegations before it relating to Mr. Szauder and thus did not order any sanction against him. Following the Discipline Panel’s decision, Mr. Szauder was re-integrated with the team, and has returned to coaching.
The athletes are also accompanied in Budapest by Assistant Coach Kasia Kulesza. Two additional coaches working with the team are: Kerri Morgan, head coach and Mental Game Coach for the Olympium Synchro Swim Club in Toronto, and Yingli Hou, head coach for the Waterloo Region Artistic Swimming Club. Lilianne Grenier joined the team in Barcelona to assist with Team Leader duties. Karine Doré, also an Assistant Coach with the national team, continues to work with the next gen program athletes in Montreal.
As a priority, the organization and its full coaching and support team is constantly striving to improve its processes to establish a safe and healthy environment for its national team athletes.
The team will return to Montreal in early July where it plans to train until departing for a staging camp in Victoria, BC, enroute to Japan for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Olympic artistic swimming competition for duets and teams will take place August 3-7, 2021.