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Junior teams ready to take international stage

News –

Following a successful Olympic & Paralympic Swimming Trials, Presented by Bell, Swimming Canada has announced its National Development Team Program teams for 2024.

Canada will send 30 swimmers (15 males, 15 females) to the 2024 Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, which will be staged at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra Aug. 21-24. Meanwhile, a group of 10 (four males, six females) will represent Canada at the Open Water Junior World Championships Sept. 6-8 in Alghero, Italy.

“I’m extremely excited to announce our 2024 Junior Pan Pacific team. It’s a strong team with loads of potential,” said National Development Coach Ken McKinnon.

Featuring Charter nations Australia, USA, Canada and Japan, the Junior Pan Pacific Championships are held every two years. The competition is also open to other non-European nations with Singapore and New Zealand amongst other regular participants. Canada won three medals (1 silver, 2 bronze) at the last Junior Pan Pacs in Honolulu in 2022. The team produced six athletes (Regan Rathwell, Lorne Wigginton, Ella Jansen, Emma Finlin, Julie Brousseau, Tristan Jankovics) who went on to qualify for this year’s Olympic Team.

Leading this year’s edition alongside 20 rookies are returning junior team members Aiden Norman and Delia Lloyd, both backstroke finalists at last year’s world junior championships.

“After a week of exciting racing in Toronto at the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Trials, Swimming Canada has selected one of the strongest junior teams ever,” McKinnon said. “In 11 weeks’ time the team will be flying to Canberra to race against Japan, Australia, the USA and others in one of the fastest junior meets in the world.

More than 300 athletes and support staff will be housed on-site at the AIS for the duration of the event, with training, competition, meals and accommodation all located within walking distance.

Since its inception in 2005 the event has only been hosted by Hawaii, Guam and Fiji with this year’s championships being held in Australia for the first time. The University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre will host the Junior Pan Pacs from Aug. 17-20, 2026.

Later in the summer, the ancient city of Alghero, nestled on the picturesque island of Sardinia, is set to host the open water junior worlds.

Swimming Canada selected 10 swimmers (four males, six females) to compete at the open water world juniors. Events include 10-km, 7.5-km, 5-km and team events.

Canada’s team includes Doha 2024 World Aquatics Championships team members Emma Finlin and Laila Oravsky, as well as Timothe Barbeau, who represented Canada at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games. Finlin will be competing on the back of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where she is slated to be Canada’s lone competitor in the 10-km open water marathon.

Julia Strojnowska and Olivier Risk are returning members from the 2022 edition of the event in Seychelles. That team was also an important development opportunity for Alex Axon, who recently qualified for Paris 2024 in the pool.

“I’m really excited to have such a great bunch of athletes on the team,” said Distance/Open Water Coach Mark Perry. “It’s a real mix of experience and potential. Emma will be fresh from racing at the Paris Olympics. Swimmers like Timothe, Laila, Julia and Olivier will be bringing experience to the table, and we are adding some rookies who will be competing for the first time at this level. It should be an exciting few days of competition and I’m looking forward to working with them all,” Perry said.

Alghero will welcome more than 200 open water athletes aged 14-19 from 35 countries.

2024 Junior Pan Pacific Championships
Canberra, Australia | August 12-26, 2024

Kamila Blanchard Pointe Claire Swim Club Phil Garverick
Ella Cosgrove Unattached Canada Scott Goodrich
Leilani Fack Langley Olympians Swim Club Brian Metcalfe
Matea Gigovic Killarney Swim Club Mike Meldrum
Jordan Greber University of Calgary Swim Club Carl Simonson
Madison Kryger Brock Niagara Aquatics Dave Ling/Ryan Mallette
Reina Liu Unattached Canada Robert Norman
Delia Lloyd Etobicoke Swim Club / HPC Ontario Ryan Mallette
Julia Strojnowska Langley Olympians Swim Club Brian Metcalfe
Shima Taghavi HYACK Swim Club Andrew Lennstrom
Leah Tigert Toronto Swim Club Bill O’Toole
Jenna Walters Guelph Marlin Aquatic Club Hendrick van der Merwe
Clare Watson Unattached Canada Abi Liu
Halle West MANTA Swim Club Szilvie Carriere
Mia West MANTA Swim Club Szilvie Carriere
Francis Brennan Belleville Beast Swim Team Brandon Oates/Don Burton
Oliver Dawson Grand Prairie Piranhas Swim Club Alex Dawson
Parker Deshayes Cascade Swim Club Wendy Johnson
Tuja Dreyer Island Swim Club Lucien Zucchi
Nicolas Duncan University of Calgary Swim Club Carl Simonson
Ethan Ekk Unattached Canada Terry Maul
Simon Fonseca CAMO Natation Claude St Jean
Wells Ginzer Okotoks Mavericks Swimming Emma Hesterman
Laon Kim University of Calgary Swim Club Carl Simonson
Aiden Kirk Kelowna AquaJets Marc Tremblay
Kiet Kong Markham Aquatic Club Sean Baker
Aiden Norman University of Calgary Swim Club Carl Simonson
Alexander Miao Unattached Canada Ray Aguilar
Harrison Smith Unattached Canada Mohammed Khadembashi
Ben Winterborn Kingston Blue Marlins Don Burton

World Aquatics Open Water Swimming Junior World Championships
Alghero, Italy | September 6-8, 2024

Emma Finlin Edmonton Keyano Swim Club Paul Birmingham
Laila Oravsky Barrie Trojans Swim Club Endi Babi
Julia Strojnowska Langley Olympians Swim Club Brian Metcalf
Taira Vroom Barrie Trojans Swim Club Endi Babi
Elleigh Wise Cascade Swim Club Wendy Johnson
Michelle Zeng West Vancouver Otters Swim Club Janusz Kaczmarek
Timothe Barbeau Neptune Natation Chrystèle Roy L’Ecuyer
Simon Fonseca CAMO Natation Claude St Jean
Aiden Kirk Kelowna AquaJets Marc Tremblay
Olivier Risk University of British Columbia Derrick Shoof