OTTAWA, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - Swimming Canada received the great news today
that its bid for the 2012 World Junior Open Water Swimming
Championships, presented to FINA, the International federation for
competitive swimming, had been accepted. This inaugural event will be
held in the spectacular Welland Recreational Waterway, located in the
heart of Niagara, Ontario in August of 2012.
"FINA is delighted to award the 1st FINA World Junior Open Water
Swimming Championships to Canada," said Dr. Margo Mountjoy, member of
the FINA bureau.
"Canada has a longstanding history in open water swimming and in hosting
FINA events having just recently held the successful FINA World Open
Water Swimming Championships 2010 in Roberval, Quebec. The Niagara
Region is an attractive and exciting location for these Championships,"
"Receiving FINA's go-ahead in hosting another major international event
in Canada is a great step forward for Canadian swimming," said Pierre
Lafontaine, CEO and National Coach for Swimming Canada.
"Canada has a great tradition with hosting impressive international
events, and we welcome the opportunity to set a high standard in
hosting the first ever World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships,"
As FINA revamped its international calendar last year, it announced that
a World Open Water Championships for swimmers under the age of 18 would
be introduced in 2012 in order to generate greater interest in the
The 3-day competition is said to draw over 200 participants between 13
and 18 years of age from around the globe. The list of events will
include a 3, 5, 7.5 kilometer race for age groups 14-16 and 17-18. A
mixed gender 3km relay will be added to the schedule.
"The Welland Waterway and the flatwater centre is a perfect setting for
open water racing," added Lafontaine. "The water conditions are stable
and the spectators are able to follow the race at arms length of the
field of play. It will make for a great festival of swimming."
Following the integration of a 10km open water event as part of the
Olympic Games curriculum in 2008, many great pool distance swimmers
have made the leap to adding the open water event to their list of
Lafontaine says that open water swimming is growing in popularity, and
hosting a World Junior Championships in addition to its FINA World Cup
event in Roberval is part of Swimming Canada's objectives in further
development the nation as a World contender.
Canada's track record in hosting international open water events is
It was said that IOC president Jacques Rogues witnessed the 10km open
water event in the rowing basin during the 2005 FINA World
Championships in Montreal, which sparked an interest in adding the
event to future summer Olympiads.
Last year, Roberval QC was host to the FINA World Open Water
Championships on top of hosting its annual Traversée du Lac St-Jean and
FINA World Cup.
"We would love to see a third World Cup event based out of the Welland
and added to the North American leg of the FINA circuit," added
A local organizing committee will be created in partnership with the
Welland Recreational Canal Corporation and Welland International
Flatwater Centre (WIFC). Stephen Fischer, Executive Director of the
WIFC was "thrilled by the opportunity to work with Swim Canada in
delivering the 1st FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships
in Welland and excited about the future and the potential of additional
open water events being hosted at the WIFC."
SOURCE SWIMMING CANADA
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