Photo: Liz Corman

Ottawa, ON– The newly formed Senior National Team made its international debut in the past two weeks, competing at two FINA Artistic Swimming World Series events. The team first swam at the Canada Open, held in Surrey, BC, from May 31 to June 2. The athletes then flew to La Mirada, CA, where they took part in Synchro America Open, June 7-9.

The 12 athletes have trained in their home club throughout the year and came together for multiple short training camps beginning in January and culminating with an intensive 3-week camp in Calgary in May at Repsol Sport Centre.

“Synchro Canada is extremely proud of the way our athletes competed at both FINA World Series events in North America. After a short, but very focused three week camp, in Calgary, they successfully swam eight new routines for the first time internationally at the Canada Open and then followed that up with another eight great swims at the Synchro America Open. The coaches and athletes accomplished a great deal in the 5 weeks they were together and have laid down a strong foundation to build on for next season”, said Julie Healy, Synchro Canada’s Chief Sport Officer.

2018 Canada Open – Surrey, BC

6-medal performance for Team Canada at its first World Series Event

First stop on this competition spree was FINA World Series Event #7: 2018 Canada Open. The athletes competed at home in their first appearance together. Canada had entries in 6 events and collected bronze medals in each of them. The team was lead by head coach Leslie Sproule and assistant Chihiro Ishii for this World Series event.

Day 1

On day 1, Canada had two entries in the solo tech event. Jacqueline Simoneau, from Montreal, QC showed the world her brand new technical routine, which earned her first bronze medal of the week with a score of 89.4107. With a score of 84.0538, Halle Pratt, from Calgary, AB, made her Senior international debut in solo with a beautiful swim that put her in sixth place.

Team Canada also earned a bronze medal on its first day in Surrey in the technical event with a score of 86.5904, behind Ukraine and Japan. The swimmers were: Andrée-Anne Côté (20, St-Georges, QC); Camille Fiola-Dion (20, Rimouski, QC); Rebecca Harrower (22, Edmonton, AB); Claudia Holzner (24, Calgary, AB); Audrey Joly (20, St-Eustache, QC); Sion Ormond (18, Aurora, ON); Halle Pratt (18, Calgary, AB); Jacqueline Simoneau (21, Montreal, QC). Laurence Vezina (21, L’Ancienne-Lorette, QC) was the alternate. Gabrielle Boisvert (23, Cap Rouge, QC) didn’t take part in the event due to injury.

Day 2

Team Canada jumped back in the pool for the Free event and swam to another bronze medal with a score of 87.6333. Ukraine finished first, followed by Japan. The athletes were the same as in the technical event.

Simoneau was joined by her 2017 World Championships partner, Claudia Holzner, in the technical duet event. With a score of 88.6506, the pair took the third place on the podium. The Japanese duet won gold while the Ukrainian duet took silver in this event.

Day 3

For the last day of competition, Jackie had a beautiful swim that earned her another bronze medal. Her 90.7667 score placed her behind Japan’s Yukiko Inui and Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Yakhno. Also taking part in this event was Halle Pratt, who scored 86.3000 and finished in fifth place in what was her first appearance in this event on the international scene.

Simoneau and Holzner scored 89.5667 in the Free duet event, which earned them the bronze. Japan and Ukraine took gold and silver.

2018 Synchro America Open – La Mirada, CA

Jacqueline Simoneau leads Canadian medal haul at 2018 Synchro American Open

Canada’s artistic swimming squad left California with four medals from the 8th stop on the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series. At the 2018 Synchro American Open, held in La Mirada, CA, Jacqueline Simoneau earned silver in both the solo free and solo technical events, while Team Canada contributed a silver and a bronze in the team free and technical routines. The team was lead by head coach Leslie Sproule and assistant Johana Vasquez for this World Series event.

Day 1

Swimming to Lorde’s version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” from the “Hunger Games” soundtrack, Jacqueline Simoneau, built on the routine which debuted at the 2018 Canada Open in Surrey, BC. She scored 88.0345 to finish second to the Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Yakhno. In just her second international event on the senior world series circuit, Halle Pratt, finished a strong fifth. She scored 84.6503 competing to the music of K.D. Lang’s version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

In the Team Technical, Canada’s “Less Talk More Art” routine earned the bronze medal. In their second competition with this program, which features electronic dance music by Vito Fun & KOIL, the team scored 85.9062.

Competing together for the first time, Halle Pratt and Jacqueline Simoneau finished just off the medal podium in the Duet Technical Routine. The two scored 86.2044 for fourth place behind duos from China, Ukraine and Japan with the complex routine built around the theme of Hands to the music of “Demons” by Revolt Production Music.

Day 2

Canada’s Team Free routine took home the silver medal with a score of 86.9667. Swimming to the music “Seraphim” by City of the Fallen and “Two Steps from Hell by Thomas Bergersen the routine is built around the theme of “Rising up from the Ashes.” Team Canada finished behind Ukraine, and originally won the bronze medal, but moved up to silver when the Japanese team was disqualified for not having the proper swimmers in its lineup.

Day 3

With a superb swim in the Solo Free Routine, Jacqueline Simoneau scored 91.2000, taking home the silver, and was edged out for the gold by just .1667 by Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Yakhno. Now in its second year, Jacqueline’s free routine to the music “Experience” by Ludovico Einaudi, has grown and developed as she has matured as an athlete. Also in the solo event, Halle Pratt finished sixth with a score of 86.5000. Her breezy and sassy routine reflected the music “Summertime”, sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

In the Duet Free Routine, Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau swam to fifth place with their Inukshuk-themed routine. They scored 88.2000 behind China, Japan and two Ukrainian duos.

The FINA Artistic Swimming World Series has two more events in the 10-stop circuit. It continues next in Greece and will finish in Uzbekistan.

Synchro Canada is proud of the talent and hard work showed by Team Canada’s athletes these past weeks. The athletes are now headed home for a bit of well-deserved rest before they go back to training in their home club.

Photo: Anna Davydova