From August 23-27, the 17th FINA World Junior Artistic Swimming Championships will be held in one of the oldest settlements in North America, Quebec City, Canada. For five days, 210 of the best 15- to 18-year-old athletes representing 26 countries from around the world will be competing for the twelve sets of medals at stake at the Desjardins Aquatic Centre in the beautiful and historic Quebec City.
Following a lengthy Covid-pandemic postponement of this edition since 2020, certainly has added to the excitement amongst the athletes to start the competition. The Solo, Male Solo, Duet, Mixed Duet, and Team events will be contested in both the Free and Technical routines categories, while the crowd favourites - the Team Free Combination and the Mixed Team Highlight events - are also featured during these championships. Additionally, this will be the first time that a Male Soloist will be crowned junior world champion.
Canada’s Lisa Schott, Chairwoman of the FINA Artistic Swimming Technical Committee proudly shared “I am super excited that Quebec City, Canada, my home country has had the opportunity, third time is the lucky charm, to host the FINA World Junior Championships which has been postponed due to Covid. Quebec City is a great host known for its warm hospitality and they are an important partner and supporter of Canadian Artistic Swimming.
“We need to do what we can to keep them swimming” Schott added before noting that capturing the youth age group - the next generation of Olympians - is essential because they deserve to have a world stage platform to perform and compete on, to get them ready for the next level. Schott also emphasized that the inclusion of males in Artistic Swimming is a very positive development for the sport. “There is a new excitement and energy at the pool, coming from the males that now have been very successfully integrated into the sport. They are certainly pushing the female athletes forward.”
Japan’s Moe Higa, is most likely the leader of athletes competing in Quebec City this week that have already been noted as future world stars. At only fifteen years old, Higa won two silver and one bronze medal at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, while only one week ago in Charlotte North Carolina, Higa won three gold medals at the FINA World Youth Championships. Hometown favourite Audrey Lamothe, the winner of several FINA Artistic Swimming World Series medals, will be representing Canada in the Solo events.
Japan’s Yotaro Sato first represented Japan at the 2019 FINA World Youth Championships. Sato showed his promise when he claimed two silver medals with his sister Tomoka Sato at Worlds in Budapest in the Mixed Duet events. This week Sato will be swimming Ayano Shimada, as his sister is too old for this championship.
After finishing 7th at this summer's world championships, the gold medalist from the first male figures competition at the 1st FINA Youth Artistic Swimming Championships in 2019 Eduard Kim from Kazakhstan will be competing in the solo as well as with Zhaklin Yakimova in the Mixed Duet events.
Kenneth Gaudet has been representing the USA on the world stage successfully this year in both the Solo and the Mixed Duet events. Winner of multiple Artistic Swimming World Series medals, Gaudet and his partners finished 5th in the Mixed Duet events this past June in Budapest.
The athletes and coaches present in Quebec City will be treated to a question-and-answer interactive session with Canadian Olympian, multiple World Series and Pan American Games gold medalist, Jacqueline Simoneau.
The 5 Days of Junior Artistic Swimming Competition Action (local time ET; GMT-4)
Tuesday, August, 23
- 10.00 Women Solo Technical Finals (20)
- 12.45 Male Solo Technical Finals (7)
- 18.00 Women Team Technical Finals (14)
Wednesday, August, 24
- 09.30 Women Solo Free Preliminaries (20)
- 11.45 Mixed Duet Technical Finals (10)
- 15.00 Women Team Free Combination Finals (9)
- 18.30 Women Duet Technical Finals (20)
Thursday, August, 25
- 10.00 Women Duet Free Preliminaries (23)
- 13.00 Men Solo Free Finals (8)
- 18.30 Women Team Free Preliminaries (15)
Friday, August, 26
- 10.00 Women Duet Free Finals (12)
- 11.45 Mixed Duet Free Finals (9)
- 18.30 Mixed Team Highlight Finals (7)
Saturday, August, 27
- 10.00 Women Solo Free Finals (12)
- 13.00 Women Team Free Finals (12)
- 15.15 Gala