GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – The country’s best marathon swimmers will compete for spots on Team Canada as the first ever Canadian Open Water Swimming Trials are set to take place Saturday on Grand Cayman.
Nine men and nine women are entered in the 10-km race, which will determine spots at the FINA World Championships and Pan American Games. The new Swimming Canada event begins at 7 a.m. EST (8 EDT*) at Governors Beach on Grand Cayman, the same location as the historic Flowers Sea Swim.
“The venue is as close to perfect as you get in open water and It’s great that we have built up such a strong relationship with the Cayman Islands Aquatic Sports Association,” said Mark Perry, Swimming Canada’s Distance/Open Water Coach. “This allows us to hold a Canadian trials earlier in the year which will allow our swimmers and coaches much more time to prepare properly for the summer meets.”
In the past, Canada has selected its open water teams based on performances at another country or organization’s event, typically later in the year. The inaugural Open Water Trials field includes three-time Olympian Stephanie Horner, 30, joined on the women’s side by 18-year-old Kate Sanderson, who made her national team debut at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships. On the men’s side, 2018 Pan Pacs silver medallist Eric Hedlin and Pan Pacs teammate Hau-Li Fan will be among those looking to earn Team Canada spots. Meanwhile, competitors as young as 15 years old will be in action as Canada continues to develop its open water program.
The top two finishing eligible males and females will be selected to swim the 10-km at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea, in July, and additional athletes may be selected to swim the 5-km. The 10-km at worlds represents the first opportunity to clinch a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and the 5-km serves as a qualifier for the World Beach Games being held in San Diego, Calif., in October. Four swimmers will earn spots at the Pan Am Games set for Lima, Peru in August.
“I can’t wait to watch our best senior open water swimmers go head to head with some of the up and coming young talent that’s coming through the system here in the Cayman Islands,” Perry said.
For full event information, please visit: https://swimming.ca/en/events-results/events/2019-canadian-open-water-trials/
*Cayman Islands does not observe Daylight Savings Time