Who Will Follow In The Wake Of Richard Weinberger?

Who Will Follow In The Wake Of Richard Weinberger?

Who Will Follow In The Wake Of Richard Weinberger?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Odaiba Marine Park, Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Swimming Canada was hoping for a repeat of Richard Weinberger‘s bronze medal 10 km performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Not only are there questions whether or not the Tokyo Olympics will even be held at all this year, but Swimming Canada has also announced further changes to its 2020 event schedule as the global COVID-19 situation evolves. Canadian swimmers, like their colleagues around the world, are trying to get a handle on all these changes and stay focused on their athletic goals.

The Canadian Open Water Championships scheduled for April 25th – 26th on Grand Cayman in the Caribbean Sea have been cancelled due to the Government of Canada’s advisory on travel outside Canada and the Cayman Islands Government restriction on public gatherings of more than 50 people.

We are in the midst of very difficult times that transcend sport around the world,” said Swimming Canada CEO Ahmed El-Awadi.

Those championships were to serve as selection trials for the top Canadian swimmers seek to advance to the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier set for May 30th – 31st in Fukuoka, Japan. Swimming Canada is currently evaluating an alternate qualification option should the qualifier be held and travel to Japan deemed safe. “We now have more decisions to make with regards to the selections for the final Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier,” said High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson. “As soon as these decisions have been made we will communicate the outcome. We recognize these are disappointing outcomes, however, we had to make these decisions and communicate them.

This will all be dependent on the developing situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the International Olympic Committee has said it is committed to holding the Games as scheduled, and our latest information from FINA is that the qualifiers will be held as scheduled, we continue to plan for Olympic qualification both in the pool and in marathon swimming.

We must also recognize the window to get things done is getting smaller every day. I hope that FINA and ultimately the IOC are looking at the situation of athletes who are now unable to train around the world, the strain in many countries on their health systems, and societies in various stages of lockdown. Narrowing the window in which qualification needs to take place for athletes who have dedicated years of their life to pursuing excellence is creating additional uncertainty and stress in this very difficult world situation

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Steven Munatones