CAYMAN ISLANDS – Calgary’s Alex Katelnikoff captured his second gold in as many days at the UANA Open Water Championships Monday. The 16-year-old, who swims for Cascade Swim Club, once again touched out teammate Raben Dommann of North Vancouver’s Chena Swim Club to win the junior 5-km, after winning yesterday’s 2.5-km.
Marianne Rheaume of Montreal’s CAMO Natation also touched out her teammate Marit Anderson of Calgary Patriots Swim Club to win the junior 5-km. Chantel Jeffrey was close behind in third.
Three-time Olympian Stephanie Horner won the senior 10-km after battling it out with USA’s Eva Fabian. Winnipeg’s Breanne Siwicki, who will be joining Horner at next month’s FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, finished third.
“Open water is all about racing and gaining experience,” Horner said. “It was really beneficial for me to practice these skills. Swimming four races in four days was a challenging load, but it was a good experience stepping into Worlds.”
In the senior men’s 10-km, Nicholas Masse-Savard of CAMO finished third, just 0.53 seconds behind American Samuel Rice.
Swimming Canada’s Open Water/Distance Head Coach Mark Perry was pleased with the results of the four day competition.
“It’s been a great week. The standard of competition was what we expected, which allowed us to put ourselves in a position to learn different tactics. I’m really pleased with the way the young swimmers performed, and they’ve improved in each race they’ve swum. They’ve listened to the feedback they were given and put the skills and techniques we taught them into practice and delivered some really quality performances. With the senior swimmers, they’ve learnt some new tactics and techniques for their races and put in some real quality performances” said Perry.
Perry also praised the staff Swimming Canada sent to support the swimmers and learn about open water swimming.
“It’s encouraging to work with such professional and positive staff,” he said. “We’re putting in place a great team of support staff to learn about the sport and be able to positively impact the performance of the team.”
John Atkinson, High Performance Director, echoed Perry’s praise.
“One of the things Swimming Canada wanted to do with the appointment of Mark Perry as the Distance/Open Water Head Coach was to look at our national team protocols for open water, look at the support we give on those teams, and build a support team around the athletes that can bring in place the protocols that Mark has brought into our teams. From what I’ve seen here, that is absolutely happening,” Atkinson said. “Swimming Canada will continue to invest in this program to provide a cohesive, supportive environment while attending open water events.”
Over the four days of competition in the Cayman Islands, the 11 members of Team Canada captured seven first-place finishes, four seconds, five thirds, and five fourths in twelve races.