The Dolphins Swim Team selected to race at the 2017 Para World Swimming Championships, formerly in Mexico, will now set their sights on the 2017 Para Swimming Canadian Open in Toronto next week.
After a devastating earthquake hit the planned host city, Mexico, the Para World Championships were postponed indefinitely with no further news from World Para Swimming regarding a replacement competition expected until late next week.
Whilst in regular communication with World Para Swimming as well as other nations, Swimming Australia have made the decision to send the Para Dolphins Swim Team to the Canadian Open, which will take place in Toronto from October 2 to 4.
Paralympic High Performance Manager Adam Pine said the decision to compete in Canada was made with the best interests of the athletes at heart.
“The Canadian Open is the optimal alternative event for our team for a number of reasons. Our swimmers are ready and wanting to race and this event will provide a good alternative for them,” Pine said.
“The confirmation of the event coupled with the communication from World Para Swimming that the event will be sanctioned and all results will be in the world rankings will provide the swimmers with meaningful competition as they turn their focus to Toronto.
“The timing of the event is also perfect in that it sits exactly within the window of competition that the world championships would have covered. Our swimmers are tapered and ready and this event will mean less impact or disruption to our athletes’ plans.
“The event will also provide an opportunity for our Dolphins to race in a safe and secure environment as well as provide the essential opportunity for those that require it, to post times for Commonwealth Games selection. I would like to thank Swimming Canada for providing this opportunity for our team,” Pine said.
Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson stated, “We very much understand that this is a very difficult situation for all concerned. The IPC is understandably unable to confirm whether an alternative World Para Swimming Championships will occur and therefore the arrangements for any alternative event.”
“What the Canadian event offers is certainty. By competing in Toronto, athletes will have the opportunity to race and to establish international competition times and rankings that will position them to be considered for Commonwealth Games selection.
“As such, the Canadian Open will serve as our Para Dolphins major event for 2017 regardless of any decision reached by World Para Swimming for future Para World Championships. We understand that other nations are making similar competition plans.
“Our high-performance team have been working extremely hard to provide a quality solution and have done so very quickly. I commend all of our team including the swimmers, coaches and staff for their professionalism and willingness to be flexible to ensure that we find the right solution.
“Very importantly, we recognise the ongoing tragedy that is occurring in Mexico. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the tragic natural disaster,” Anderson said.