The emotion was unparalleled Friday for the Canadian artistic swimming team. Hand in hand and tears of joy on their faces, the swimmers’ knees all gave way when they saw on the indicator board that they had officially obtained their pass for the Paris Olympic Games.
The members of the Canadian team confirmed their Olympic participation at the end of the free program at the World Aquatic Sports Championships presented in Doha, Qatar. The place of Jacqueline Simoneau and Audrey Lamothe also materialized.
“It’s a little bit unreal. It seems like it didn’t happen, but I know it did! When I see photos and videos that people send or even when I receive messages, I start crying again because it seems like it’s not yet registered (in my head),” revealed Raphaëlle Plante before let out a little cry of joy, on the line with Sportcom.
Having placed fourth in the acrobatic event on Sunday and sixth in the technical program two days later, the Canadians had to arrive ready and confident at the water’s edge for the final of the free routine.
The objective was clear: their cumulative result of the three team events (acrobatic, technical and free) had to remain higher than that of the Italians or the Ukrainians, the closest pursuers after the first two routines.
In fact, once the technical program was completed on Tuesday, Canada had a total of 475.4917 points. Italy had accumulated 474.1684 and Ukraine, 450.0342.
“We had done all the possible scenarios before, so we had all digested very well the fact that it was possible that we would not qualify. »
As soon as they left the water with a total of 263.3980 points collected in the free event, the swimmers of the Canadian team had to impatiently watch their rivals execute their program in turns. “The stress was very high,” said Plante, laughing slightly.
The Quebecer, who took part in the three team events in Qatar, did not fail to mention that despite the pride she would have regardless of the result, the wait in front of the screen is what had the most ” grunting” Friday.
“Since we had a small deduction on one of our stunts, we were a little stressed to see if Ukraine or Italy were going to do the level of difficulty that they had declared,” she said.
The team of Sydney Carroll, Florence Tremblay, Scarlett Finn, Laurianne Imbeau, Jonnie Newman, Raphaëlle Plante, Kenzie Priddell, Claire Scheffel and Olena Verbinska finally took 7e rank behind Italy (5e with 282.4312 points), but ahead of Ukraine (9e with 233.5229 points).
After Ukraine’s performance, that’s when it really was an explosive bomb of joy, tears, everything!
China won gold and at the same time qualified for the Olympic Games, like the United States and Japan, silver and bronze medalists. Spain and Italy are the other two nations to have qualified for Paris.