Aimee Berg, FINA Press Correspondent in Canada

(SURREY, British Columbia) – Some of the world’s most flexible, acrobatic, and colorful swimmers have descended on Canada for the seventh stop (of 10) in the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series.   

From May 31 to June 2, nearly 60 athletes from eight nations will vie for medals at the indoor Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex, about 40km southeast of Vancouver.

In addition to powerhouse teams from Ukraine and Japan, the field will feature nine Olympians, a set of triplets, and two pairs of twins.

Here are a few names to know:

* Canada’s Jacqueline Simoneau will be the only Olympic veteran to represent the host nation in Surrey this week. The 21-year-old from Quebec plans to compete in solo, duet, and team.

* Japan’s squad will be led by four Olympians who not only earned the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games but who also captured bronze at the 2017 FINA World Championships in both the team technical routine and free combination. One of the four, Yukiko Inui, also captured Rio Olympic bronze in duet. Inui is heavily favored to win the solo events in Surrey as well as the free duet with Kanami Nakamaki (with whom she finished in the top-3 in multiple World Series events this year).

* In the solo free event on Saturday, keep an eye on the rising French star Eve Planeix. Last year, Planeix captivated the crowd and placed ninth at the FINA World Championships in Budapest at age 16.

* Austria’s three-woman team is a family affair.  Vasiliki Alexandri will compete in the solo events while her sisters who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Anna-Maria and Eirini Alexandri, swim side-by-side in the duet. The Greek-born triplets, age 20, have been Austrian citizens for four years.

* In the duet events, also watch Ukraine’s Anastasiya Savchuk and Yelyzaveta Yakhno who took double gold in at the World Series stop in Budapest about 10 days ago. Ukraine has also been collecting World Series medals like crazy in the team events. So far this year, it has three in team technical (1 bronze, 2 silver), three in team free (2 gold, 1 silver), three golds in combination, and two golds in highlight.

* Twins are not only trending in duet, they’re celebrating birthdays. Ukraine’s Maryna and Vladyslava Aleksiiva turned 17 this past Tuesday, and France’s Charlotte and Laura Tremble will be 19 on Monday.

Schedule:

Thursday, 31 May
    Solo Technical
    Mixed Duet Technical
    Team Technical

Friday, 1 June
    Team Free
    Duet Technical
    Free Combination

Saturday, 2 June
    Solo Free
    Duet Free
    Highlight Team
    Water Gala Exhibition