Olympians, young swimmers to compete in Saskatoon

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SASKATOON – Swimming Canada’s flagship domestic event of the summer will get underway Wednesday in Saskatoon.

More than 400 swimmers from nine provinces will be competing at the Canadian Swimming Championships through Sunday, with national titles on the line in 40 events. The top Canadian swimmers not selected for this month’s Commonwealth Games will be in action, while several up-and-coming young swimmers will be looking for their first shot at a national championship.

Visiting swimmers from the U.S. and as far away as Costa Rica and Ireland will also give the meet some international flavour.

Saskatoon’s Shaw Centre will play host to the long-course competition. Preliminary heats begin at 10 a.m. each day, with finals set for 6 p.m.

Among the big names in action will be butterflyer Noemie Thomas of Richmond, B.C., a finalist at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona. Thomas swims for the UBC Dolphins, one of 85 clubs represented at the meet.

A handful of Olympians will be swimming, including Savannah King and Heather MacLean of UBC Dolphins, as well as Barbara Jardin and Charles Francis of Montreal’s PPO Club and David Sharpe of Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club.

Dominique Bouchard, of Oakville, Ont., who will represent Canada at next month’s Pan Pacific Championships, is the top seed in the women’s 100-metre and 200-m backstroke. Meanwhile Ashton Baumann of Edmonton’s Keyano Club will be looking to bounce back from injury as the top seed in the men’s 200-m breaststroke. Baumann, the son of Canadian swimming legend Alex Baumann, made his national team debut at last year’s world championships.

Other current and former national team members include Eric Hedlin of the Island Swimming/High Performance Centre – Victoria, Chantal Van Landeghem of MANTA/High Performance Centre – Ontario, and Luke Peddie of UBC Dolphins/High Performance Centre – Vancouver.