Day 1 – Gold for Simoneau in Solo Technical and bronze in Team Technical
Canada started off the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series (ASWS) Super Final by winning the bronze medal in the first event, the Team Technical. The Super Final, which also served as the Olympic Qualification Tournament, took place in Barcelona, Spain from June 10-13, 2021.
The athletes who competed in the team event were: Emily Armstrong, Rosalie Boissonneault, Andrée-Anne Côté, Claudia Holzner, Audrey Joly, Halle Pratt, Jacqueline Simoneau and Emma Spott. This was their first time to compete new choreography, by Anastasia Ermakova, that was developed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the ASWS Super Final. The crowd-pleasing, innovative Hip-Hop & Rap program, that weaves dance moves into the routine, scored 88.9380. The Canadians were just 1.8537 behind Italy, who won gold with 90.7917. Spain took silver with a score of 90.5506.
Jacqueline Simoneau was the first competitor in the Women Solo Technical and she set the standard for the competition right from the start. Her score of 90.4573 was a personal best for her in this event and she took gold in the 11-person field. Her strong technical elements were evident throughout the routine, swum to a favorite song, Cry Me A River, by Michael Bublé. The silver medal went to Lara Mechnig of Liechtenstein with a score of 84.1573 and Nicole Dzurko from the USA scored 82.0876 for the bronze medal.
Canada did not have entries in the other two events on Day 1. Russia’s Aleksandr Maltsev took gold in the Men Solo Technical, and then combined with partner Olesia Platonova to win the Mixed Duet Technical.
Day 2 – Another Gold for Simoneau in Solo Free and second bronze for Team Canada
In the first event of the day, Canada’s team began with a strong swim in the Team Free. Competing their Triumph-themed routine for the first time, they started with a difficult acrobatic throw and continued through the program with expressive arm movements and creative patterns. Choreographed by Anastasia Ermakova, it also featured complex angles and challenging lifts. The team, represented by
Emily Armstrong, Rosalie Boissonneault, Andrée-Anne Côté, Camille Fiola-Dion, Claudia Holzner, Audrey Joly, Halle Pratt, and Jacqueline Simoneau, took the bronze medal with a score of 90.4668. They were just behind Italy with 93.2332 and Spain who scored 92.3000.
In the Solo Free, Jacqueline Simoneau was the class of the field. Jacqueline’s emotional performance perfectly captured the essence of the music, SOS d’un terrien en detresse, from Starmania, the Quebec rock opera written by Michel Berger. Her free routine featured her trademark height out of the water, spinning technique and connection to the music. She took the gold medal with a personal best score of 92.1000, almost a full 4 points ahead of the silver medalist, Anita Alvarez (88.1332) of the USA. Spain’s Mireia Hernandez Luna was third, scoring 86.3668.
In the third and final event of the day, Giorgio Minisini of Italy took the gold medal in the Men Solo Free.
Day 3 – Canada’s Gold Medal count continues in Duet Technical for Holzner and Simoneau and Team Highlight
Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau topped the field in the Super Final Duet Technical event. Competing only the second time this season, their score of 90.5040 was their personal best as a duo, for this new routine, developed for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Although a technical routine, the Let’s Dance theme, choreographed by Denise Sauvé, allowed them to intertwine fun, artistic moments with the technical elements to create a memorable performance. Vasilina Khandoshka and Daria Kulagina from Belarus won silver with a score of 87.6593 ahead of twins Bregje and Noortje De Brouwer from the Netherlands who scored 87.5620 for the bronze medal.
Canada took its second gold of the day in the Mixed Team Highlight competition, represented by Emily Armstrong, Rosalie Boissonneault, Andrée-Anne Côté, Scarlett Finn, Camille Fiola-Dion, Claudia Holzner, Audrey Joly, Halle Pratt, Kenzie Priddell, and Emma Spott. Their daring routine has been dubbed The New Power Generation by choreographer Denise Sauvé. It focuses on the strength, power, creativity, and explosion of movement. The unique Canadian performance style featured dynamic acrobatic moves right from the opening sequence, as well as a Reverse Dive Pike in another highlight. Rounding out the routine were risky connection moves, line figures, scissor leg kicks and the concluding double somersault.
Canada’s score of 89.8000 kept them well ahead of Hungary, who finished second with a score of 76.4332.
Day 4: Golden again for Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau in Duet Free
Starting first in the Super Final field, Claudia Holzner and Jacqueline Simoneau set the winning score of 91.8332 right at the beginning of the event. The two have been paired together since 2017 and scored a personal best in Spain. They worked with choreographer Denise Sauvé to create an homage to Japanese Culture, in preparation to compete this routine at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Starting with a tremendous height partner acro move, it also included fast spinning at maximum height with complex angles. They carried the energy right through to the final movement, ending with another partner acro and difficult fast double legs. The other medalists were Vasilina Khandoshka and Daria Kulagina from Belarus who won silver with a score of 89.0000 ahead of the Netherlands’ twin sisters Bregje and Noortje De Brouwer who scored 88.4668 for the bronze medal.
In the two other events on Day 4, Russia’s Mayya Gurbanberdieva and Aleksandr Maltsev won the gold medal in the Mixed Duet Free and Hungary took gold in the Mixed Team Free Combination.
Canada’s Artistic Swimming team will continue training in Europe to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, where the artistic swimming competition for duets and teams will take place August 3-7, 2021.