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Swimming Canada —International event to replace recent postponement of World Championships in Mexico City for Canadian squad—

TORONTO—Canada’s top Para-swimming athletes will play host to the Canadian Open, October 2-4, at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.

The competition has been created following the International Paralympic Committee’s decision to postpone the World Para Swimming Championships, which were originally scheduled to begin next week, due to the devastating earthquake that occurred outside Mexico City on September 19.

“Natural disasters are beyond our control but the thoughts and prayers of our entire team of athletes, coaches and staff are first, and foremost, with the families affected by destruction,” said Ahmed El-Awadi, Chief Executive Officer, Swimming Canada.  “We have tremendous respect for the Mexican swimming federation and a strong relationship with them. It is unfortunate our team will not be able to compete at Worlds in Mexico. While it is not a World Championships, our athletes have worked tirelessly to prepare for an international meet. As a result, working with our sport partners, we want to provide them with an opportunity to test themselves against the world’s best through this condensed event in Toronto.”

The Open will provide an opportunity for all of the Canadian athletes who were going to compete at World Para Swimming Championships to race in the same competition window as the World Championships would have occurred. It will also provide an opportunity for athletes to post times to be considered for 2018 Commonwealth Games selection.

“Our primary goal is to provide a quality racing opportunity that will allow the swimmers to stay on their preparation plans and post performances for world rankings and for team allocations for the 2018 Commonwealth Games,” said James Hood, Swimming Canada’s Senior Manager, High Performance Para-swimming Programs.

“We always talk about adaptability and focusing on the components that the athlete can control. This is a true test our swimmers ability to adapt, refocus and perform in conditions that are not what was planned. In the end it comes down to the swimmer, their race and their preparation.”

Swimming Australia has already confirmed attendance at the Para-swimming Canadian Open, with more countries expected to join.

The competition will run with time finals beginning every night at 6 p.m. Complete details of the event are available here.