Pair wins bronze in duet event at 2016 Synchro America Open

The members of Canada’s Olympic-bound synchronized swimming duet, Karine Thomas and Jacqueline Simoneau, were in Riverside, California, on Saturday to take part in the finals of the duet event at the 2016 Synchro America Open.

The competition, held 4 weeks before the start of the duet event at the Rio Olympics, featured 5 pairs who will be taking part in the Games in August – making it a great opportunity to rub shoulders with stiff competition as the pair enters its last stretch of preparation before Rio.

“It was very important for us to have one last competition before the Olympics,” said Thomas, from Gatineau.  “We have had demanding and intensive training at the pool, and we have done some public demonstrations of our routines in the past few weeks, but nothing compares to an actual competition environment, especially since it’s an exterior pool here, just like it will be in Rio.  It was important both in terms of physical preparation as well as for our confidence.”

19-year-old Simoneau, from Ville St-Laurent, concurred: “What a great opportunity for us to swim with other pairs who will be at the Olympics!  There is tremendous respect between the athletes, but at the same time it also gives us a chance to take a peek at each other and note what can be done better.  We love where we are in our preparation right now, and in addition we now have a list of small improvements we will be able to work on over the next month with our team of coaches and external experts.”

“This competition was a great confidence booster for us,” added Thomas.  “We performed three times (duet tech, duet free – prelims, duet free – finals) and each time we raised the bar, were more powerful and synchronized, and got a little bit closer to the perfect swim we will be looking for in Rio.”

“Our sport is all about being as close to perfection as possible … at the right time,” concluded Simoneau.  “For us, this competition confirmed that we were squarely on our way to achieve this in Rio.”

The Canadians won the bronze medal, finishing closely behind Spain and China.

The pair will now leave for a 3-week camp in Boca Raton, Florida, before departing for Rio where they take part in the duet event starting on August 13.

The officials representing Canada at the competition were Diane van der Pol, Louise Kennedy and Laura Ealing, as well as practice judges Lesley Ahara and Lisa Balcombe.

Delegations from Ontario (RTC-Ontario) and Quebec (Quebec Provincial Team) also took part in the compeitition, winning a total of 8 medals.  Below are their results from Saturday, July 16.

Senior Solo Free:

Gold – Ioana Gheta, Quebec Provincial Team

Bronze – Brooke Brimo, Quebec Provincial Team

Junior Team:

Gold – Quebec Provincial Team

Silver – Regional Training Centre – Ontario

Free Combination (July 15 – correction):

Bronze – Quebec Provincial Team

4 – Regional Training Centre – Ontario
Results for the competition are available on the event website.