The FINA Artistic Swimming World series continues this coming weekend with the last leg before next month’s Super Final in Barcelona, Spain.  After the USA hosted the 1st leg of the 2021 ASWS virtually, followed by the 2nd and 3rd leg live events in Hungary and Russia, this weekend, May 29 and 30, the FINA virtual platform will once again be the place to be when Canada hosts the 4th edition of this year’s series. The broadcast, scheduled to start at 10:00 am E.T. (UTC-4), and will feature all 12 ASWS events. On Saturday, the technical Solo, Duet, Mixed Duet and Team as well as the Free Combo events will be contested, while on Sunday the Free Solo’s, Duet, Mixed Duet, Team, and Highlight routines will be broadcasted.  In general, Free routines allow the athletes to showcase creativity in the choreography while also highlighting their unique strengths and abilities throughout the routines.  It allows for freedom in the artistic impression and artistic exploration and allows more lifts. The broadcast concludes with the always-fun Gala event. FINA Technical Artistic Swimming Committee Chair Mrs. Lisa Schott, one of the driving forces behind the extraordinary developments within the Artistic Swimming discipline, emphasized the quality and the level of creativity of the Gala event on Sunday.

“Since the submissions are videotaped, we asked the coaches to think outside the box, to explore and play around with this opportunity, to go all out. I am thrilled, they listened, and I am so impressed at the videos submitted for the Gala. The Artistic Swimming Community is extremely creative, and always eager to try new things to improve, to stand out.  This Gala illustrates how wonderfully talented our athletes and coaches are.”
By Lisa Schott

With representation of twenty National federations from the 5 continents, host Canada will lead spectators on a tour of pools across the world.  From the Cayman Islands to Singapore, Egypt to Australia, USA to Japan, with stops in Russia, the Netherlands, and Spain to name a few. Besides having a significant increase in participation compared to the 1st leg, also virtual, hosted by the USA this past February, this 4th leg also sees several first-time participants, attesting to one of many positive aspects of a virtual competition. Participation in a virtual event is easier for smaller Federations, who are not often easily able to travel to a FINA ASWS, providing their athletes the opportunity to gain experience on the world stage. Lisa Schott believes that the future of Artistic Swimming will include a blend of live-in person and virtual events.

“The pandemic has provided us the opportunity to explore other ways to keep not only our athletes, but really our entire Artistic Swimming community engaged. The virtual events have kept our officials sharp and focused; our athletes engaged and connected. It has provided us to educate and teach with a much broader reach. Volunteers have been able to step up in different ways, having the opportunity to develop their expertise. Virtual events will never replace live events, but we have to continue using the platform moving forward as another tool to continue the development of Artistic Swimming as a whole.”
By Lisa Schott

The Female Solo events this weekend feature hometown favorite Canadian Jaqueline Simoneau, who surely would like to solidify the lead Canada currently has in the ASWS ranking for the Solo events. USA, ranked in 3rd, have entered Ruby Remato and Nicole Dzurko in the Technical Solo, while Anita Alvarez will be performing her Free Solo routine. In the inaugural year for the Male Solo event, it is only fitting to have FINA’s best male artistic swimmer in 2015 and 2017, Russia’s Aleksandr Maltsev participating. He will compete with Spain’s Fernando Diaz del Rio Soto for the gold medal in the Technical Solo event. In the Male Free Solo Diaz del Rio Soto will be joined by fellow Spaniard Dennis Gonzalez Boneu, and the Japanese Jimma Iwasaki and Yotaro Sato.

This weekend’s Technical and Free Duet events will be interesting to watch as this is the last competition before the Artistic Swimming Olympic Qualification event. The Olympic Qualification event will be held in combination with the Super Final next month in Barcelona Spain.  At the Olympic Qualification event there are 8 available tickets for the duet competition at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The duets from Germany, Liechtenstein, Singapore, USA, and Korea are all scheduled to swim this weekend, fine tuning and perfecting their routines to do their best to claim one of the 8 coveted spots next month in Barcelona.

Double World Champion and multiple ASWS Gold medalists Russia’s Aleksandr Maltsev paired with Mayya Gurbanberdieva in the Technical and with Olesia Platonova in the Free event are the pairs to beat in the Mixed Duets events this weekend. Russia leads the ASWS ranking in the Mixed Duet category, but Spain is a very close second. With the participation of Emma Garcia & Pau Ribes and Gonzalez Boneu & Maria Strub in the Free event and additionally Spain’s Diaz del Rio Soto paired with Leyre Abadia Ruiz in the Technical event it will be exciting to watch.

Belarus impressively participates in all four Team events this weekend. Currently, Belarus is 7th in the ranking for Team events with 50 points. However, Belarus could easily surpass first place Hungary with great swims this weekend. Both USA, currently in second and competing in the Free Team event, and Spain, ranked fourth and competing in the Free Team and Free Combo, will try to earn as many points as possible to improve their ranking heading into the Super Final.

Earlier this month, FINA decided that due to the relatively low number of ASWS legs this year, participation in the Super Final will be open to all National Federations. National Federations will be able to continue earning points during the Super Final and the prize money will be distributed after the Super Final based upon the points scored at a minimum of two ASWS legs. Prize money will be distributed to the Top 12 National Federations in each of the following four categories: Solo’s, Duet, Mixed Duet, and Team events.

Be sure to tune in this weekend to see many of the best Artistic swimming athletes of the world perform their routines and possibly change their position on the ranking with only the last leg, the Super Final in Barcelona Spain, June 10-13, 2021, left in the 2021 series.

Webcast available:

Saturday May 29th all times (EDT/UTC-4)

10:00 am Solo Technical

10:37 am Male Solo Technical

10:46 am Duet Technical

11:34 am Mixed Duet Technical

11:52 am Team Technical

12:03 pm Free Combination

Sunday May 30th all times (EDT/UTC-4)

10:00 am Solo Free

10:49 am Male Solo Free

11:08 am Duet Free

12:00 pm Mixed Duet Free

12:20 pm Team Free

12:38 pm Highlight Routine

12:47 pm Exhibition Gala