COVID Creates Changes In Choosing For Canada
Experienced open water swimmers are flexible and adaptive – and that is what Swimming Canada has had to be for the upcoming 2022 season.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Swimming Canada announced alternate qualification scenarios for international open water events in 2022.
Cayman Islands has been the location for many recent national selection teams for Canada. But the Canadian Open Water Swimming Trials scheduled for November 27th – 28th on Grand Cayman was cancelled. “We had hoped to conduct the event in November, but it would not be possible to run an event in Cayman Islands effectively with all participants needing to quarantine for seven or more days. While we looked at other locations with appropriate climate, all came with too much uncertainty to ensure we could run a fair event for all Canadian competitors,” said High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson. “Unfortunately, we had to make the decision to cancel the Open Water Trials on Grand Cayman.”
Swimming Canada will instead offer spots to compete at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, in May to swimmers who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Hau-Li Fan 9th in Tokyo and Kate Farley Sanderson 18th in Tokyo shown above). Canada will fill its remaining male and female open water spots from the results of the 1500m freestyle at the 2022 Canadian Swimming Trials, set for April 5th – 10th. The pool trials will also serve as the selection meet for the 2022 FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships.
“We have a great partnership with the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association. It’s sad that the current climate has made it impossible to go there for our trials, but I think we’ve got the next best alternative policy here,” said Distance/Open Water Coach Mark Perry. “The first priority in the selection criteria is to recognize the athletes who proved themselves in the summer, and there’s still plenty of time for others to prepare for Trials in April and show what they can do with their speed.”
“While it’s disappointing not to return to Cayman Island to run Open Water Trials as we have done successfully before, we have to look at the current travel situation with COVID-19 and the practicalities of what that means,” Atkinson said. “By establishing this process to qualify from the pool Trials in Victoria, we’ve given everybody some certainty as to how the process will work and now we can move forward.”
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