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Open water swimmers to get racing opportunity at FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series Grand Finale

News –

Swimming Canada will be sending a team of open water swimmers to the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series in December to gain international race experience.

This last leg of the FINA/CNSG Marathon Swim World Series will be held in Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi, UAE on Dec. 15 and 16. This event is part of a new Aquatics Festival that FINA is running in parallel to the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).

There will be three races: the women’s 10-km, the men’s 10-km, and a new mixed relay (4×1,500-m) for national federations.

Swimming Canada will be sending six swimmers – two females and three males – to the event. The group consists of both experienced and young swimmers who will use the competition as a learning opportunity heading into 2022 and beyond to Paris 2024.

“Having six swimmers represent Canada at the World Series open water 10-km event will give much needed open water opportunities to the athletes selected and will serve them well into 2022,” said High Performance Director John Atkinson. “As well as the 10-km World Series swim, also having a team contest the new mixed open water team event will also be a great experience.”

Hau-Li Fan, who came ninth at the Tokyo Olympic Games, will use this event to gain more international senior racing experience as well as serve as a mentor for the younger swimmers on the team. The team also includes 2019 FINA World Championships team member Raben Dommann, and former world junior team members Kenna Smallegange and Alexander Axon.

“It’s exciting to be taking a team to the Marathon Swim World Series which FINA have moved to coincide with the world short-course championships in Abu Dhabi,” said National Distance and Open Water Coach Mark Perry. “We’re taking a mix of experienced and younger swimmers with one eye on Paris 2024 and the other firmly on building the next generation through quality racing experience at this level.”

“It will be a tough challenge racing the best senior swimmers in the world, but will also give us quality baseline information about the gaps that need addressing for future success,” said Perry.

The athletes invited are:

Brown, Eric Pointe-Claire Swim Club Martin Gingras
Dommann, Raben UBC Thunderbird Swim Club/HPC-Vancouver Brad Dingey
Fan, Hau-Li UBC Thunderbird Swim Club/HPC-Vancouver Brad Dingey
Dunford, Abby Unattached Canada Ron Aitken
Smallegange, Kenna Burlington Aquatic Devilrays Mark Bernardino/Braden Holloway