Open water world junior team tastes success at Best Fest Festival
Swimming Canada – MALLORCA, Spain – Michael McGillivray of Regina and Kenna Smallegange of Burlington, Ont., each won a gold medal Thursday in their respective seven kilometre races to conclude the Best Fest Open Water Swimming Festival.
The competition was an important preparation for Canada’s team for the world junior open water swimming championships September 6-8 in Eilat, Israel.
‘’The waters were really rough today so I was happy with myself to come out with the victory,’’ said McGillivray, 15. ‘’I was able to stay with the pack and produce a consistent race.’’
In the 10 kilometre race, Nathan Beaudin-Bolduc of Quebec City was second in the men’s race and Kate Sanderson of Toronto also nabbed a silver in the women’s event.
‘’I was able to settle into my stroke,’’ said Sanderson, in her first career 10-kilometre race. ‘’ It was pretty intense out there but I didn’t let that bother me.’’
The Best Fest races were the highlight of 10-day training camp-competition for the Canadians many of whom are still getting their feet wet in the world of open water.
‘’It was a great learning experience,’’ said Sanderson. ‘’With the classroom sessions and the training in the pool along with the ocean races we really got an insight into all the facets of open water. It certainly was crucial in terms of our preparation for the junior worlds.’’
Swimming Canada’s distance/open water coach Mark Perry was delighted with the outcomes in and out of the pool.
‘’We had a clear strategy coming over here to add more skills for our swimmers,’’ he said. ‘’They learned to articulate their experiences in the races which is really going to help the coaching staff. We also collected a lot of data which will help us start the process of building their individual race strategies.’’
The Canadians raced in five open water races of varying distances over the past eight days.
McGillivray also posted victories this week in the 1.5 kilometre and 4.5 kilometre. Sanderson also had two more wins including the women’s 1.5 kilometre.
Emma O’Croinin of Edmonton notched a win in the junior-aged 1.5 kilometre and was third in the five kilometre. Raben Dommann of North Vancouver also earned a gold and bronze.
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