Olympic bronze medalist, Richard Weinberger (UBCD) and World Championships silver medalist, Eric Hedlin (ISC) will lead Canada's team in Open Water swimming at the 2015 PanAm Games in Toronto, as well as the 2015 FINA Open Water Swimming Championships in Kazan, RUS.
Swimming Canada's selection event for determining team members for these events took place this past weekend (May 2, 2015) at the FINA Open Water World Cup race in Cozumel, MEX.
Weinberger, the 2012 Olympic bronze and 2011 Pan Am Games gold medallist, took 14th spot in the men’s 10km marathon to earn one of the two men’s spots, while Hedlin, a silver medallist in the 5km open water event at the 2013 FINA World Championships, finished 29th.
On the women’s side, Jade Dusablon of Quebec City earned a spot with a 27th place finish as did Minnesota-based Canadian Samantha Harding in 39th. Dusablon has an eighth-place finish from the 2013 Summer Universiade on her international résumé.
All four swimmers have also been selected to represent Canada at this year’s FINA World Championships, which run July 24 to August 9 in Kazan, Russia. The Worlds will act as the first potential opportunity to qualify for the 10km open water event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
They join the 36 pool swimmers who were nominated at an announcement last month following the 2015 Team Canada Trials at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. The open water competition will take place on July 11 and 12 at Ontario Place West Channel, and will include two events: men’s 10km marathon and women’s 10km marathon. The pool competition will take place at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre from July 14 to 18.
In addition to Weinberger’s gold, Canada won four pool medals at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara. Canada’s best-ever Pan Am Games performance in swimming came at Winnipeg 1999 where swimmers won 31 medals, including 13 gold.
Canada will field the largest team in its Pan American Games history with more than 700 athletes expected to be named to the Team at the Games in Toronto. With TORONTO 2015 providing a “home Games” experience, as well as a number of qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, these Games will provide a tremendous experience for Canada’s high performance athletes.