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Team Canada in final preparations for world championships

News –

TOYOTA, Japan/YEOSU, South Korea – Team Canada is putting the finishing touches on its preparation for the FINA World Championships, which begin Saturday morning in Korea (Friday evening in Canadian time zones).

Canada’s first event will be the men’s 5-km open water race, which begins at 7 p.m. ET Friday. Raben Dommann of Vancouver and 2013 silver medallist Eric Hedlin of Victoria will be Canada’s competitors in that event.

FINA TV (https://www.finatv.live/en), CBC (https://www.cbc.ca/sports/broadcast) and Radio-Canada (https://ici.radio-canada.ca/sports/horaire-diffusions) will webcast the open water races live from Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park, approximately 90 km southeast of host city Gwangju. Viewers can download the CBC broadcast schedule to sync with smartphone calendar apps here: http://calrep.ly/2JDCwxx

Open Water continues through Thursday with the marquee events being the 10-km marathon. Toronto native Kate Sanderson and Victoria’s Chantel Jeffrey are set to compete in the women’s race at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, followed by Victoria’s Jon McKay and Vancouver’s Hau-Li Fan on the men’s side at the same time Monday. Top 10 finishers can qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“We arrived in Yeosu on Sunday and the accommodation, food and training facilities have been first class. The team are all very focused and looking forward to racing,” said Open Water Head Coach Mark Perry. “The open water team is a very inexperienced team with five of the six swimmers never having competed at a World Championships before; only Eric Hedlin has experience at this level and luckily he is racing on Day 1 and hoping to get us off to a good start.”

Meanwhile, the pool team is making its final preparations at Canada’s staging camp in Toyota, Japan.

“The staging camp based at Chukyo University in Toyota has started off extremely well and the facilities are world class. The location for the camp will provide an ideal environment for the team to fully prepare for the FINA World Championships in Korea,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson. “We have been made to feel extremely welcome by. Mr Shiehiro Takahashi and the staff at the University. They are putting out the red carpet for us and nothing is too much trouble for them.”

The bulk of the team left Canada Saturday and arrived Sunday after a long travel day and 13-to-16-hour time change.

“Our swimmers have settled in really well and are working on their bespoke plans as we get in to the final preparation phase. We have had relay team workouts, led by team Head Coach Martyn Wilby and High Performance Centre – Ontario Head Coach Ben Titley. They are great for continuing to build the relay culture of our teams.”

The pool competition kicks off July 21 at the Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, Korea. Canada’s pool team includes Olympic medallists Penny Oleksiak and Taylor Ruck (HPC-Ontario) and Kylie Masse (University of Toronto). Masse is looking to defend her 2017 world championship in the 100-m backstroke. Sydney Pickrem, who took bronze in the 400-m individual medley in 2017, is also back in action, as is 2015 400 IM bronze medallist Emily Overholt.

On the men’s side, three-time world relay medallist Yuri Kisil will look to build on his first individual international medal (bronze in the 50-m freestyle at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.) Meanwhile, Overholt’s High Performance Centre – Vancouver teammate Markus Thormeyer also made an individual breakthrough in 2018 (bronze in the 100-m back at Commonwealth Games) and is growing into a leadership role on the team.

Visit www.swimming.ca for bios, profiles and preview stories, and follow Swimming Canada on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates throughout the championships.

FINA TV will also have coverage of all the pool action, while CBC/Radio-Canada will webcast pool finals, with highlights on the Road to the Olympic Games show hosted by Scott Russell.

Official meet website: https://www.fina-gwangju2019.com/

Open water results: http://www.omegatiming.com/2019/18th-fina-world-championships-ow-live-results

Pool results: http://www.omegatiming.com/2019/18th-fina-world-championships-sw-live-results