Canadians gain valuable experience at FINA Open Water Worlds

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BALATONFURED, Hungary – Brooke Lamoureux of Comox, B.C., and Tessa Cieplucha of Oakville, Ont., won’t soon forget their international debuts on Friday at the FINA World Junior Open Water Championships.

‘’I couldn’t get over how fast and determined the competition was,’’ said Cieplucha, competing in only her second open water race overall.

‘’The start was brutal,’’ added Lamoureux, racing for the fourth time in open water.

‘’Everyone was fighting like mad to get into the lead right away. I just tried to stay with them and dig a spot for myself. But it wasn’t easy.’’

The two 15-year-olds placed 26th (Lamoureux) and 27th respectively in the five kilometre race. Conditions on Lake Balaton were satisfactory with small waves and warm water.

‘’I felt great,’’ said Lamoureux. ‘’I was pleased with how I competed against such a strong international field. I had no goals in terms of results. I just wanted to have nothing left when I finished the race and I achieved that.’’

Siyu Yan of China won the gold medal clocking one hour and 00:40.81 seconds. Carlotta De Mattia of Italy was second in 1:00:45.33 and Charline Secresta of France third in 1:00:45.71. The Canadians were about six minutes off the pace.

Cieplucha’s open water debut was this past spring at the team trials in the Cayman Islands. She entered open water on the recommendation of her coach to help her with her pool swimming.

‘’I enjoyed the competition a lot today,’’ she said. ‘’I certainly hope I can have another opportunity like this. It certainly benefits my swimming and when you come to an international meet like this you not only race them but you can see how they prepare for races as well.’’

Competition continues through to Sunday. On Saturday, Josh Zalaka of Kelowna, B.C., and Sebastian Paulins of Brantford, Ont., compete in the boys five kilometre race.

Full results: http://www.evochip.hu/results/chipes_idomeres.php?lang=hu&eventid=OpenWater_VB14KVr&css=&iframe=&year=2014

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