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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Junior Open Water Swimmers Join The World Stage

With FINA starting a regularly scheduled World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in 2012, national federations are setting up standards and making decisions on how their top younger swimmers will qualify.

FINA awarded Swimming Canada the 2012 World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships where it will be held in the Welland Recreational Canal in Ontario.

The top three finishers under the age of 18 at the 2011 USA Swimming Open Water 10K National Championships on June 10th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida will be named to the Open Water National Junior Team, provided that they finish within 15 minutes of the first-place overall finisher. Athletes entering university in Fall 2011 are eligible to make the Junior Team.

Site of the annual Welland Four Bridges Swim, Swimming Canada's Pierre Lafontaine described the Welland Canal as perfect for holding the first-ever World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships. "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."

The venue is relatively narrow (135 meters at its widest point), enabling spectators to embrace the action that is bound to be close for the world's top 14-18 year old open water swimmers. Pierre called the championships to be hosted at the Welland International Flatwater Centre, a great step forward for Canadian swimming. "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."

The World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships in August 2012 will offer races and relays up to 7.5K in distance including a 3-person, mixed-gender 3K team pursuit relay.

This is a great step forward for all the world's open water swimming youth.

Photo by Ivan Torres.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source

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