Quebecer Jacqueline Simoneau brought Canada a first gold medal at the World Aquatic Sports Championships in more than three decades on Tuesday when she triumphed in artistic swimming, a sport formerly called synchronized swimming.
Simoneau, from Chambly, obtained a score of 264.8207 points for his routine in the final of the solo free event at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. She thus surpassed her Greek rival Evangelia Platanioti, who obtained 253.2833 points, and the Belarusian Vasilina Khandoshka (245.1042).
This victory is the first for a representative of the maple leaf since that of Quebecer Sylvie Fréchette, solo, at the World Championships in Perth, Australia, in 1991.
It was Simoneau’s first career gold medal at the Senior Aquatics Worlds, and his second medal overall in this competition. On Sunday, the 27-year-old athlete shone by capturing the title of vice-world champion in the technical solo, in her first international final in more than two years. Simoneau thus gave back his coin to Platanioti, who had triumphed in the technical solo.
Simoneau and his teammate Andrey Lamothe, of Montreal, also finished seventh in the final of the artistic swimming technical program in pairs on Monday.
It should be noted that Russia, a power in artistic swimming, refused to participate in the Doha Worlds under a neutral banner – a condition decreed following the invasion of Ukraine.
On the other hand, Canada finished sixth in the technical team event in synchronized swimming, with a score of 253.3550. China triumphed after scoring 299.8712 points in the final, ahead of Spain (275.8925) and Japan (275.8787), in order.
Earlier Tuesday, the Canadian women’s water polo team remained undefeated at the Worlds, after defeating Great Britain 20-5.
Montreal’s Élyse Lemay-Lavoie led Canada (2-0) with four goals, while her Manitoba teammate Shae La Roche added three to her record.
Axelle Crevier, Emma Wright, Blaire McDowell, Kindred Paul and Marilia Mimides hit the target on two occasions each, while Daphné Guèvremont, Verica Bakoc and Serena Browne completed the score for the representatives of the maple leaf.
Sixteen national teams are participating in the women’s water polo tournament in Doha.
Canada, which won its first match 24-2 against South Africa on Sunday, must finish among the top two teams in the standings to qualify for the Paris Olympics next summer.
Canada will now face Italy on Thursday. The Italians crushed South Africa 17-3 on Tuesday.
Furthermore, Montrealer Cédric Fofana was the best Canadian diver in the preliminary phase in the individual 3m springboard by virtue of his 34th place. Only the 18 best divers advanced to the semi-finals of this event, which will take place on Wednesday.
Canadians Caeli McKay and Kate Miller finished in sixth place in the 10m synchro final, with 287.34 points.
The event was won, unsurprisingly, by the Chinese Yuxi Chen and Hongchan Quan, who collected 362.22 points. They were ahead of the North Koreans Mi Rae Kim and Jin Mi Jo (320.70) as well as the British Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini Sirieix (299.34).
McKay, who trains at the Institut national du sport du Québec in Montreal, had settled for eighth place in the individual final on the 10m tower on Monday.