Synchro swimming ready for FISU debut


Michel Belanger

July 4, 2013, Ottawa, (ISN) – Synchro Canada’s Senior National Team will make its historical debut tomorrow at the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia, with the first performance in the technical solo event. Samantha Nealon (Morriston, ON) will be the Canadian representative.

Synchronized swimming events will mark the first-ever appearance at the world university games and will be held until July 9. All tickets for synchronized swimming events are currently sold out.

“This competition is another step towards my long term goal, which is to be part of the Olympic team, representing Canada in 2016. It is another great experience that can teach an athlete a lot, both technically and mentally”, said one of the team captains, Rachel Fréchette.

“Since this will be the first time I compete internationally at a senior level, it is a important transition leading me to a promising future in the sport of synchronized swimming”, added soloist Samantha Nealon.

Canada will take part in the technical and free solo as well as team events. The team of 8 athletes will swim modified versions of the “Soccer” and “Circus” team routines that were presented first by the Senior National Team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In the solo event, Samantha Nealon will perform two new routines.

“For the last weeks, we have been working so hard to develop a good team spirit in order to be able to have performances worthy of a podium finish”, said Rachel Fréchette.

This will be a high-level competition with participation of athletes from the national team athletes from Russia, Japan, Mexico and U.S.A. many who represented their country at the last Olympic Games and FINA World Aquatic Championships.

“I think that competing against the world champion, Russia, will be an amazing experience”, believes Rachel Fréchette.

“We are going to have some tough competitors from those teams. However, we are ready to take on that challenge”, added Samantha Nealon.

“Our athletes need to be in a competition simulation as often as possible to be able to progress in their personal sport development”, said Synchro Canada’s Senior National Team Head Coach, Meng Chen. “There is no doubt in my mind that this experience with be beneficial for the long-term development of our Senior national Team program as well as our athletes, including those with less international experience and those with more.”

Janelle Ball (Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC), Gabriella Brisson (Calgary, AB), Rachel Fréchette (Deux-Montagnes, QC), Caroline Larcher-Landry (Gatineau, QC), Rebecca Maule (Guelph, ON), Katie MacLeod (Pointe-Claire, QC), Samantha Nealon (Morriston, ON) and Lisa Sanders (Gormley, ON) will represent Canada. Anastassia Goutseva will be the coach.

Here is the competitions schedule (Ottawa Time)

Friday, July 5: Free Solo (1:30 am), Technical Solo (11 am)

Saturday, July 6: Technical Team (2 am)

Monday, July 8: Free Team (12:30 pm)

Tuesday, July 9: Free Solo (2 am)

The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and ranks second to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. It is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1st during the same year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.

Schedule and results are available on Synchro Canada’s website: