SASKATOON – Clare McGovern put a golden polish on her junior career on Saturday helping the Granite Synchro Club to a golden sweep at the 2014 Canadian Open Championships in synchronized swimming.
In team competition, Granite totalled 77.8483 points for its Yoga-themed routine and is the first Ontario squad to win a national junior team title in 20 years. They edged the Calgary Aquabelles second at 77.4235 and Montreal Synchro in third at 74.2128.
“Definitely ending Ontario’s drought was a motivating factor for us”, said McGovern, also the solo winner on Thursday. “But more importantly it’s how we came together as a team and put so much work into this program. “
In duet, McGovern and Wenjing Deng took the crown with 78.6076. Erica Slavin and Kali Wong of the Aquabelles were second at 77.9343 and Mady Duboc and Dylan Harding, also from Granite, were third at 75.3113.
It was the last competition together for McGovern and Deng after a two-year partnership. Deng will still be junior-aged next season.
“It was very emotional for us tonight”, said McGovern. “We really wanted to end with a positive performance.”
Canadian national team wins all three events
The Canadian Open also had an international flavor, featuring Canada’s national team.
In the solo free final, 17-year-old Jacqueline Simoneau of Montreal placed first in the international standings with 89.5333 points. Adriana Bitiatti of Brazil earned 76.000.
Simoneau has enjoyed a successful international season so far, her first as Canada’s senior soloist, with medal performances at the French Open and British Open earlier this year.
“So far this season I can’t ask for much more,” she said. “I’m one of the youngest senior competitors so I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. Tonight, I wanted to have more eye contact with the audience and the judges. I have a tendency to be focused on myself when I perform.”
In duet, Simoneau and Karine Thomas of Gatineau, in their first season together, reached a new milestone with 90.4667 points. They finished well ahead of pairs from Spain, Kazakhstan and Brazil.
“It went super well”, said Simoneau. “Karine and I received our first 9.0 mark which was a huge step for us.”
In the team event, Team Canada dominated Australia with 90.0667.
“It was our best performance this season and it was our synchronization that improved the most”, said Captain Mari-Lou Morin of Montreal. “We wanted to show Canada all the hard work we’ve been putting into the program. We were a bit nervous in some areas and we need to be more free-flowing with the program.”
In the national senior solo standings, Elizabeth Savard of Dollard Synchro, in her senior debut, won the gold at 81.9333. Geneviève Peel of Montreal Synchro was second at 78.6333 and Gabrielle Boisvert of Elite Synchro third at 77.1667.
“I was definitely more nervous than usual”, said Savard, 18, third as a junior in solo at last year’s nationals. “Still my goal here was to get the win and I needed my best score this season to achieve that. The big difference this year is I’m able to keep pushing hard right until the finish.”
Other senior national champions were Virginie Lévesque and Genevieve Peel of Montreal Synchro in duet and B.C. Aquasonics in team.
Best overall artistic performance MAKE UP FOR EVER Awards
The Calgary Aquabelles won the best overall artistic performance MAKE UP FOR EVER Award for the 2014 Canadian Open Championships. This award is given to the top junior team based only on the artistic marks during the team or combo final. All winning athletes and coaches received products from MAKE UP FOR EVER.
About Synchro Canada
Synchro Canada is the national organization governing synchronized swimming in Canada. It represents 10 provincial associations, a territorial association, as well as some 150 clubs and 12,000 members across Canada. A member of FINA, the world’s governing aquatic sports organization, Synchro Canada promotes the quest for excellence by developing the athletes, citizens and ambassadors of the sport of synchronized swimming at every level.
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 make up: MAKE UP FOR EVER
Official suppliers: Knox Gelatine, AdUp, National Car Rental
Official hotel: Hilton Hotels Canada
For further information, visit Synchro Canada’s Website at www.synchro.ca or follow Synchro Canada on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
– 30 –
Email: [email protected]
Cell.: (418) 420-2125