The Hellas Beetles Cup, the second leg of the 2019 FINA World Series, will be held in Alexandroupoli in northeast Greece from April 4 – 7. No sunny, island-y meet in the Cyclades for us this year.
The European Cup, which will serve as one of the qualifiers to the 2020 Olympics, will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, from May 10-12. LEN hasn’t made any announcements yet, but the Russians have.
It’s All ‘Bout the Money
Great Britain will receive additional funding of £192,500 from the government to boost its training and preparation ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games. This is a fantastic news in a sport where the news is usually about the loss of funding.
International Crossovers & New Choreographies
After collaborating with the Alexandri sisters in California, Stephan Miermont is now working with the French team at the INSEP in Paris to create new routines for 2019.
Like in the past few years, Russian legend Anastasia Ermakova is once again helping out the Italian national team with new team routines as well. In 2018, Ermakova was behind the technical and free mixed duets, free duet, and free combination routines for Italy.
Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe from Great Britain received the help of Ana Montero. Montero is Spain’s technical director for synchro and competed at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Spain had the visit of Juan Manuel Cañizares, a flamenco guitarist and composer, whose music will be included in the new routines. With last month‘s collaboration with Antonio Najarro, it’s easy to venture that the Spaniards are working on a new routine centered around flamenco for the upcoming season.
On that note, Paula Ramírez revealed on her Instagram that Spain is working on new routines in free duet, free team and free combination.
The Israeli team is in Barcelona for 20 days to work once again with Anna Tarrès. After only one season with the renowned choreographer in 2018, the team improved by 10 points already.
Switzerland sent its two duets – Vivienne Koch & Noemi Peschl and Maxence Bellina & Maria Piffaretti – to the Ukrainian Open, presumably to once again start an Olympic duet selection procedure. Both duets also took part in the Russian Cup a few weeks ago. Koch and Peschl represented the nation at the 2018 European Championships.
2012 Olympian Szofi Kiss has confirmed her retirement in the Hungarian press. Kiss competed in the duet in London where she placed 21st. She had already stepped away from the pool after the 2014 season but came back for the 2017 season.That year, she swam in front of her home crowd at the world championships in Budapest in both free and technical solo, duet and team events. In 2018, she focused mostly on the solo and duet events, competed in five world series and concluded her season and career at the European Championships.
Videos, Vlogs and Photoshoots
The 2019 Russian national team had a photoshoot on December 11, presumably for official photos and roster headshots. Notably missing were twins Anastasiya and Daria Bayandina. With the ‘Svetlanas’ duet training in Moscow for now and 10 athletes at Round Lake, this would make it a 12 members roster, a logical and sensible number as the nation starts to hone in on its 2020 Olympic training squad and Olympic team.
Dutch sisters Bregje and Noortje de Brouwervlogged their recent training camp in Moscow, Russia.
Canada’s Jacqueline Simoneau and Claudia Holzner showed the difficulty of a typical training day to the ‘Buff Dudes’ for a fun video feature on the Olympic Channel.
Russia’s 2016 Olympic champion Vlada Chigireva showed her fans her steady, mid-thigh vertical position, even though she added that she’s not in her best shape and is making many mistakes there.