Weinberger Named to Open Water World Champs Team

Swimming Canada announced today the official roster and line up for its 2010 Open Water World Championships team that will be competing in front of a home crowd in Roberval QC this summer. The event, that is said to attract close to 100 swimmers from over 30 countries, will run from July 17-23 and will feature events such as the 5, 10, 25 kilometer races for both men and women.

Canadians Simon Tobin of Quebec City, Richard Weinberger of Victoria (UVic-Pacific Coast Swimming), Zsofia Balazs of Toronto, Karyn Jewell of Gatineau Nadine Williams of Sherwood Park (Alta) will be facing the World in Roberval.

“We saw some great, confident swimming for these individuals last week in Long Beach during the selection event,” said Pierre Lafontaine, CEO and National Coach. “We are seeing a mix of veterans and newcomers on the scene and these World Championships will be a great progression for us as we progress the London Games.”

Veteran swimmer Simon Tobin is no stranger to the waters of Lac St-Jean in Roberval. In 2006, he finished one placing shy of the podium in the grueling 32km race of la Traversée du Lac St-Jean. He was also Canada’s top placing (26th) last year in the Men’s 10km race at the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Rome. 

Newcomer on the international field Karyn Jewell will join Toronto’s Zsofia Balaz and Sherwood Park’s Nadine Williams, both members of the 2009 Worlds team who finished in 33rd and 42nd place respectively. Balazs was crowned Canada’s first 10km National champion in the 10km event in 2008 and has competed internationally in pool events at the Pan American Games and the Tri-Nations Cup.

The 10km Open-water Olympic event will see defending World Champion Keri-Anne Payne of Great Britain in the women’s event and the American Francis Crippen, bronze medalist at the 2009 Worlds. Dominant countries in the Open water events such as Germany, Russia and Italy have yet to confirm their teams.

“The Fina World Open Water Championships will be a very competitive event,” added Lafontaine. “We’re seeing some returning champions from Worlds and Beijing, yet we expect to see new emerging competitors.”

For National Open Water Coach Ron Jacks, Canadian performances are showing great promise for the up-coming Olympic games qualifying process in 2011 set by FINA, the World governing body for competitive swimming.

“To be ready for Olympic qualification we will still need plenty of racing experience and the results this summer should give us a good indication to where our swimmers are with regards to the rest of the world, said Jacks, head coach of the 2010 World Open Water Team. 

Canada’s roster for the 2010 Fina World Open Water Championships 5km and 10km events in Roberval is:

Men: Simon Tobin of Quebec City (UL); Richard Weinberger of Victoria (UVIC)

Women: Zsofia Balazs of Toronto (TSC); Karyn Jewell of Gatineau (CNPG); Nadine Williams of Sherwood Park, Alta. (STSC)