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Team Canada will be without two veteran swimmers at the upcoming World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

After making the team at the Canadian Swimming Trials in the spring, both Sydney Pickrem and Mabel Zavaros have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the championships.

Zavaros has been dealing with injuries in both shoulders. The 23-year-old, who made her national team debut in 2018, was a double finalist at last year’s Commonwealth Games.

“I’ve been communicating a lot with my doctors, athletic trainers and coaches about my shoulder injuries. With their support and medical opinions, I have come to a tough decision that I need to take some time this summer to continue doing rehab and rest to help both my shoulders,” said the Burlington, Ont., native, who trains at the University of Florida. “This was not a decision I took lightly and it brings me sadness knowing I cannot represent my country this summer.”

Pickrem, an Olympic medallist and four-time medallist at world long-course championships, is unable to attend due to personal circumstances.

Both Zavaros and Pickrem are members of Team Canada for the Pan American Games set for October in Santiago, Chile.

“I’m disappointed I won’t be able to join the team in Japan, but I’m looking forward to Pan Ams later on this year. I’m grateful for the support from Swimming Canada and I’m wishing all the best to the team,” said Pickrem, 26.

“It’s always unfortunate when one of our top swimmers isn’t able to compete at their best, but our athletes are people first and we support them 100 per cent,” said High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson. “We are looking forward to seeing Sydney and Mabel represent Canada later on this year at Pan Ams. We will keep in close contact with them and support them to the best of our ability.”

Canada’s team now stands at 28 for the world championships, which begin Friday with open water swimming and run through July 30.

Nathan White
Senior manager, Communications, Swimming Canada
Gestionnaire supérieur des communications, Natation Canada
t. +1 613-260-1348 x2002 | m. +1 613-866-7946 |