All while facing last minute changes due to injuries, the Canadian Artistic Swimming Team came together and participated in a total of 4 different events at the FINA 2022 World Aquatics Championships, in Hungary, landing a spot in every final and securing a top-10 finish in each of them.
In the technical and free solo events, Audrey Lamothe made a splash in her first ever World Championships participation. The 17 year-old athlete from Montreal took 10th place in the technical event, with a score of 83.0909 – only 0.7485 from 8th place held by the Mexican soloist.
In the solo free event, Lamothe offered a stunning performance of her Hungarian dance-themed routine, displaying technical and artistic prowess beyond her years and affirming her place within the world’s elite. Her personal best score of 85.4000 was good enough for 9th position in finals.
“I was very excited to perform. I just concentrated on enjoying the moment and did my best. This competition is crazy, we see a lot of countries. I learned a lot in the last two weeks by just watching these good athletes train” said Audrey Lamothe about the World Championships. Missing her high school graduation to participate in the international event, Lamothe will now take a well-deserved break before starting to prepare for the 2022 FINA World Junior Artistic Swimming Championships that will be held in Quebec City on August 23-27.
In the technical team event, the squad caught every curve ball thrown at them. 2 members of the team, Rosalie Boissonneault and Alicia Réhel, suffered untimely and rare injuries. In one of those cases, the incident happened only a few hours before the technical team finals. The team’s alternates, Sydney Carroll and Claire Scheffel had to quickly step in to ensure Canada’s presence at the event. The squad gave an amazing and strong performance. They scored an 84.4817 and ranked 8th.
Team Canada finished the competition on a high note and took 7th place with a score of 85.2000 in the highlight routine final.
“We really came together as a team. We gave everything! We had a lot of energy and we worked well together. We all felt we did the best we could and we’re super proud of everything we’ve accomplished this week, especially since we’ve only started working together in January. We’re really proud of ourselves and we’re really happy to be here together” said Kenzie Priddell, veteran member of the team.
The national team also intended to take part in the free team event but was forced to withdraw from the competition to ensure and protect the health of the two injured athletes. Given the difficulty of the routine, there was an additional risk in replacing those swimmers with alternates. This was a tough decision and was made as a team. It is important that in training and in competition, CAS considers the well-being and health of all the athletes first and continues to focus on the all-important Olympic qualification next season.