Welland hosts first World Junior Open Water Swim Championships

The inaugural FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships will be held at the Welland International Flatwater Centre and Waterway until Sunday (Aug.19).

More than 130 athletes from 31 countries began competitions on Thursday (Aug. 16). Canada has an eight-member squad. Olympic open water bronze medallist Richard Weinberger of Victoria was part of the opening ceremonies.

Competition is divided in two age groups (14-16 years and 17-18 years), for both men and women. Races will be held over five kilometres for the youth category (14-16) and 7.5km for the juniors (17-18). Apart from individual events, a three km team event composed of three swimmers will also be organised for both age categories.

Canadian entries for the men are Oliver Straszynski of Toronto and Liam Desjarlais of Prevost, Que., in youth competition and Nicolas Massé-Savard of Gatineau, Que., and Samuel Matte of Quebec City in the junior event. For the women, Canadian swimmers are Leena Struzina of Bowmanville, Ont., and Justine Rhéaume of Montreal in youth and Bronwyn Colford of Toronto and Jade Dusablon of Quebec City in junior.

The officials meet website is http://www.niagaraopenwater2012.com/site/home