Let the Olympic Year begin! In one month, the World Championships and final Olympic qualifiers will get underway in Doha, and the field will finally be complete for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Between these two competitions, the schedule is shaping up to be a busy one. But first, let’s catch up on some of the latest news around the synchro world.
All Eyes on Doha
- Canada has announced its 12-member squad for the World Championships: Sydney Carroll, Scarlett Finn, Laurianne Imbeau, Audrey Lamothe, Jonnie Newman, Raphaelle Plante, Kenzie Pridell, Alicia Rehel, Claire Scheffel, Jacqueline Simoneau, Florence Tremblay and Olena Verbinska. Per the press release, Simoneau will take part in the technical and free solo events, technical and free duet events, as well as one of the team routines. It adds that “the duet composition remains to be confirmed”; Simoneau has been training with Lamothe and Verbinska, who swam in the event at the Pan American Games. Still no news or updates on the head coach search, however.
- The Spanish team held a training camp in Lanzarote. The 11 athletes called were Cristina Arambula, Meritxell Ferré, Berta Ferreras, Marina Garcia, Lilou Lluis, Meritxell Mas, Alisa Ozhogina, Paula Ramirez, Sara Saldana, Iris Tio and Blanca Toledano. The full Fukuoka squad is back, and it seems 17-year-olds Ferré and Lluis are joining the senior team full-time for this Olympic year.
- Does Italy have a new mixed duet in store for Doha? Perhaps. According to the latest convocation, Susanna Pedotti was called up to train alongside Giorgio Minisini. Pedotti, 19, competed in solo at the Fukuoka World Championships. She was also part of the Italian junior team which won five medals, including two golds, at the European Junior Championships. She would replace Lucrezia Ruggiero in the event, who is likely focusing on the Olympic routines for the time being.
- Finland will participate in the World Championships in artistic swimming for the first time ever. Pinja Kekki will compete in the technical solo while Sini Tuuli will do the free solo.
New Year, New Team?
As usual, Ukraine held its national championships in December. The national team participated, unveiling new routines in its preparation for the Doha Olympic qualifiers. While the duet remains made of the twins Maryna and Vladyslava Aleksiiva, the team composition has slightly changed since Fukuoka. Aleksandra Horetska and Ameliia Volynska swam in the three team routines for the nation. Both competed in the acrobatic team last season at the European Junior Championships last year. Volynska also participated in the duet events there.
Veronika Hryshko, a three-time World champion and six-time European champion, is seemingly still recovering from a shoulder injury from October, and only participated in the acrobatic team here. Notably missing from all routines was Angelina Ovchynnikova, who has been the team’s flier over the last two seasons. Injury, or the formation of another flier / jumper? Only time will tell.
- Daria Bayandina revealed in an Instagram post and Stories that she gave birth to her first child last April. That would explain why she missed the entire 2023 season with France. She has since returned to training in Paris ahead of the 2024 season.
- Isidora Letelier of Chile has announced her retirement. A member of the national team for over 10 years, she notably competed in two Pan American Games (2019, 2023), three World Championships (2017, 2019, 2023), three South American Games (2014, 2018, 2022) and three Bolivarian Games (2013, 2017, 2022) in the solo, duet and team events.
- Shani Sharaizin of Israel is also moving on from artistic swimming. Sharaizin is a European Champion in the free combination event, and competed at the 2022 and 2023 World Championships.
- The European Championships (!) are scheduled from June 10 to 14 in Belgrade, Serbia.
- Very minor issue, the European Junior Championships are also set for June 12 to 16 in Malta. Since many countries rely on junior athletes for both competitions and officials can’t yet clone themselves, this one should probably hopefully maybe be rescheduled.
- The World Junior Championships will be held in Lima, Peru from August 28 to September 1.
- The full 2024 Competition Calendar is available here. We’re pretty much set on major international competitions, but the calendar will continuously be updated as more countries finalize their domestic schedules.
ARTICLE BY CHRISTINA MARMET
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