COLONIA SANT JORDI, Spain – Canadian swimmers Chantel Jeffrey and Alexander Axon have each won two gold medals at the Best Fest open water festival in Colonia Sant Jordi on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca.
Jeffrey (Island Swimming Club) won the senior women’s five-kilometre race on Sunday then captured the 1.5-km event Tuesday.
Jeffrey, who will compete at this summer’s FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea, said both races represented outstanding learning experiences.
“I learned about my own abilities and what kind of things I have to work on,” she said. “I’m excited for what’s coming up in the near future.”
Axon (Markham Aquatic Club) also won those titles in the junior men’s division.
Canadian swimmers were well-prepared for Sunday’s 5-km races, but the straight course was tricky.
The group made some mistakes, which Swimming Canada Open Water/Distance Coach Mark Perry said was because it was the first open water experience for many of them.
Kenna Smallegange (Burlington Aquatic Devilrays) took home the gold medal in the junior women’s division while Madison Archer (Nepean Kanata Barracudas) picked up the silver.
“I thought it was a real good race for me, from point to point,” Archer said. “I just focused on my own race and didn’t really care what other people were doing.”
Smallegange followed up her gold-medal victory on Sunday with a bronze in Tuesday’s 1.5-km race.
“The (5-km) was a very good race and it was a good opportunity to show what we had been practising and learning in the pool and the classroom,” Smallegange said.
“The (1.5-km) was a little rough, but it was still a good opportunity to practise racing close to a lot of other people,” she added.
The Canadian team used a drone to film the swimmers in order to enhance post-race analyses. The athletes have also been tested on their glucose levels to show when is the best time to do a pre-race activation as part of the preparation for upcoming events, including the world championships.
Competing for Canada: Kenna Smallgange (Burlington Aquatic Devilrays), Katie Sullivan (Mount Pearl Marlins), Payton Rerie (Manta Swim Club), Madison Archer (Nepean Kanata Barracudas), Chantel Jeffrey (Island Swimming Club), Kyla Ross (Island Swimming Club), Hau-Li Fan (University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Swim Club), Ryley McRae (Kamloops Classic Swimming), Calvin Slinn (Winskill Dolphins), Alex Axon (Markham Aquatic Club) and David Quirie (Nepean Kanata Barracudas).