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Synchro Canada – Ottawa, April 27, 2017 — Four of Canada’s top synchronized swimmers will be in action this weekend at the Japan Open. Taking place at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Centre from April 28 – 30, 2017, the event is the second stop on the newly created FINA Synchronized Swimming World Series.
More than 20 different countries will be taking part in the event where Canada will field two strong duet entries. The 2016 Olympic duet of Jacqueline Simoneau, 20, Montreal, Que. and Karine Thomas, 28, Gatineau, Que., will begin their competitive season in Japan. Making their international debut at the senior level is the newly created duet of Gabriella (Gabe) Brisson, 23, Calgary, Alta. and Claudia Holzner, 23 Calgary, Alta. Jacqueline Simoneau will also compete in the solo category.
Synchro Canada’s National Team, who had been at a training camp in Japan since April 22, had to withdraw as a result of injuries to two athletes.  “While this is truly unfortunate, the health of our athletes is our primary concern,” said Jackie Buckingham, CEO of Synchro Canada. “The team had been on track and training strong in advance of their first competition on the FINA Synchronised Swimming World Series, but we know that this is the right decision.  All of the team members have been very supportive and look forward to competing at the Canadian Open when the team will be back at full strength.”
The team will compete at the upcoming Synchro Canada Open Championships/FINA World Series event in Toronto, May 2-7, 2017, at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and plans to debut their brand new technical routine there.  Later stops for Team Canada in the World Series will include the America Open in Long Island, New York in late June.
Canada wins two bronze at France event
The first stop on the FINA Synchronized Swimming World Series was in Paris, France where Canada started off with two bronze medals from the only Canadian entry, Jacqueline Simoneau. She placed third in both parts of the solo category, scoring 88.8201 in the Technical Solo, behind Anna Voloshyna of the Ukraine who scored 91.1267 and Yukiko Inui of Japan who scored 90.4774. In the Free Solo, she again held down third place, with a score of 89.1000, behind the same two competitors.
By placing third in both competitions, Simoneau earned 30 points for each segment. Her total of 60 points are assigned to Synchro Canada in the solo category and will count towards the final world series ranking when the series concludes in Uzbekistan in September.  The top six entries/nations in each of solo, duet, mixed duet and team events will qualify for prize money at the conclusion of the seven series events.
Simoneau worked with the three-time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist from France, Virginie Dedieu, to develop her routines. “My goal was to present my new routines and show how much I have matured as a swimmer and as a soloist,” she said. “At the competition, I was able to demonstrate how precise and strong I am in my technical elements – in particular my height in the water. In the free routine I was able to seamlessly incorporate my difficulty into the story of my routine, something that we have been challenged with in previous choreographies.”
Simoneau also received “great feedback from the judges, the audience and fellow synchro mates. This is very encouraging going into the next FINA World Series.” She is also looking forward to sharing her experience with her fellow Synchro National Team members back home. “It was great to represent Canada at the very first event. This gave me the opportunity to see how things function in this new series. I will now be able to go back home and share my experience with the team.”
“I was very pleased and proud to start the new season with Jacqueline’s brand new solo routines (Technical and Free programs) winning two medals in the first FINA World Series Event” shared Centre of Excellence Head Coach Meng Chen. “Not only the outcome but also how much we learned in France was exciting. We were very fortunate to work with Virginie Dedieu leading into this competition – Virginie brought her best to Jacqueline – sharing her knowledge of how to build the best synchro athletes.”
The FINA World Series is a new and innovative competition program for Synchro Swimming. This event circuit allows the synchro community to compete more often in a year and allows for promoting and profiling the sport to the rest of the world.
Canada will host the fourth leg in the series as part of the Synchro Canada Open Championships Toronto, May 2-7, 2017, at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre and is part of the new FINA World Series which includes events in France, China, Japan, Spain, USA and Uzbekistan.

About Synchro Canada
Synchro Canada is an organization that fosters the pursuit of excellence while developing athletes, citizens, and ambassadors of the sport of synchronized swimming at all levels. From its 1924 beginnings in Montréal, synchronized swimming has been actively pursued by more than 70 countries worldwide. Canada proudly ranks among the best of these nations.

For further information, visit Synchro Canada’s Website at or follow Synchro Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.

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For information:

Barb MacDonald
Synchro Canada Communications Consultant
(T) 613.521.7314
(C) 613.894.1769