Happy December! We are headed fully into this new Olympic cycle as more athletes are retiring and teams are rebuilding.
More and More Retirements
- Three-time Olympic champion Aleksandra Patskevich has confirmed her retirement. Patskevich, also a 13-time World and four-time European champion, had been on the Russian senior national team since 2009. She had taken a long break after the 2017 World Championships, and had returned to elite for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
- Ukraine will take see major changes to its roster next year. Kateryna Reznik, Anastasiya Savchuk, Kseniya Sydorenko, and Yelizaveta Yakhno have retired, in addition to Alina Shynkarenko which was announced previously. Savchuk wants to focus on family life for now, but has not closed the door on returning for Paris 2024. Marta Fiedina, Marina Aleksiiva and Vladyslava Aleksiiva are the only returning Olympians. Olympic reserve Veronika Hryshko is continuing as well. The Ukrainian team should nonetheless remain near the top of the rankings, with a flurry of talented junior athletes moving on up to join the remaining seniors.
- Camila Arregui, member of the duet for Argentina, is done with her elite career. Arregui is a two-time bronze medalist at the South American Games, and was on the senior national team since 2013.
New Routines and Newcomers Ahead
- Anastasiya and Daria Bayandina are poised to be France‘s new duet. The two unveiled parts of their routines at the Winter French Nationals a few weeks ago and looked for judges’ feedback. The twins formerly represented Russia on the international stage and are two-time World (2017) and European (2018) champions in the team events. They last competed for Russia in 2018, and have been in France since 2019.
- Japan will also have a new duet next year, as Inui Yukiko will focus on solo and free combination. Olympic duet member Yoshida Megumu will swim with Yasunaga Mashiro, also a 2020 Olympian.
- Staying with Japan, we have a little more details on the full, 12-member team for 2022: Inui Yukiko, Yoshida Megumu, Yasunaga Mashiro, Kyogoku Okina, Sato Tomoka, Kijima Moeka, Higa Moe, Yanagisawa Akane, Fujii Moka, Yoshida Rie, Suzuki Hikari and Hosokawa Asaka. The team includes six returning Olympians. In addition, Sato Yotaro will be the new face of the mixed duet.
- Canada has named the 12 athletes that will make its senior national team for the upcoming season: Rosalie Boissonneault (2020 Olympian), Sydney Carroll, Scarlett Finn, Laurianne Imbeau, Audrey Lamothe, Raphaelle Plante, Kenzie Priddell (Olympic reserve), Kiara Quieti, Alicia Réhel, Claire Scheffel, Kiana Sweet and Maude Turcotte. All but Imbeau, Turcotte and Pridell (age eligibility) were part of the 2020 national junior athlete pool.
Taking On New Roles
- Bill May has just been named the new head coach of the Santa Clara Aquamaids, one of the most storied and successful clubs in the U.S. He will follow in the footsteps of Chris Carver, who had been at the helm for over 35 years and coached the U.S. Olympic teams in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
ARTICLE BY CHRISTINA MARMET
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