Canadian athletes set to take on the World’s best in Shanghai
Members of Canada’s World Aquatic Championships competing in Water Polo, Diving, Swimming and Synchronized swimming, showed great enthusiasm and confidence on June 7 during a news conference in Montreal prior to their departure for Shanghai, China, where they will face the toughest challenge prior to London 2012.
Athletes are aiming for podium performances and establishing their rightful place on the world scene at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai from July 16-31.
For Swimming Canada the target is three medals in 2012 said Pierre Lafontaine. With world renowned swimmers like Ryan Cochrane, 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist, Brent Hayden, former world champion, and Annamay Pierse, world record holder, taking the charge, many new faces are set to leave their mark on the world stage this summer.
“Our team is growing in depth and for us, the Shanghai Worlds will be a great indicator of our preparations towards London 2012,” said Pierre Lafontaine, CEO & National Coach for Swimming Canada. “The goal for these world championships is to increase the number of finalists from Rome 2009. Once you’re in the finals, anyone has a shot at making a podium.”
Canada’s Synchronized swim team will be showcasing their talents in Shanghai as they aim to secure their place for London 2012 earlier this year.
“The main goal this season for Synchro Canada's Senior National Team is to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games at the Continental Qualifier by securing gold in both Duet and Team at the 2011 Pan American Games", said coach Julie Sauvé.
"The 2011 FINA World Aquatic Championships are an important step in our preparation towards this qualifying meet next fall. The objective is to continue to improve the routines and overall results on the World stage,” added Sauvé.
For Diving Canada, these World Championships have significant Olympic implications.
"With the 2012 London Games only one year away, these World Championships will help us gauge our level of readiness in our key Olympic events. Our major focus in Shanghai is to qualify the maximum number of Olympic spots for Canada,” said Scott Cranham, High Performance Director at Diving Canada.
“After a strong performance in the 2011 World Series with 10 medals, the World Championships will be a great test, specifically for our women, to see if they can bring their positive competitive experiences of 2011 into the major event for the year” added Cranham.
“This summer is very important to both our programs”, said Water Polo Canada’s Executive Director, Ahmed El-Awadi.
“Our Men’s team will be in the FINA Men’s World Super Final and the World Aquatic Championships, both of which are Olympic Qualifiers. Our goal is to maintain our top eight ranking in the world and position us for a qualification for London 2012. Competition will be fierce but I believe our team is up to the challenge and maintain our objective.”
“Our Women’s program is seeking to medal once again as they did in Rome 2009. Currently ranked number two in the world our team definitely has a target on their back. They are stronger than they were in 2009 and we believe we can medal. Unfortunately neither the Women’s World League Super Final nor the World Aquatic Championships are Olympic qualifiers on the women’s side but the team will also use these sharpen their skills for the Pan-American Games to be held in Guadalajara in October.”
Competition dates for the 2011 FINA World Championships are: Diving (16-24), Water Polo (17-30), Open Water (19-23), Synchro (17-23) and Swimming (24-31).
(Aquatic Federation of Canada Press Release)