Canada earns Olympic berth in artistic swimming with duet gold in Lima

LIMA, Peru — Jacqueline Simoneau and Claudia Holzner won the gold medal in the duet artistic swimming competition Wednesday at the Pan American Games, and earned Canada a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the process.

Simoneau, of Chambly, Que., and Holzner, of Calgary, finished first with a total score of 180.0343 points. Mexico was second with 174.3661 points, and the United States third with 170.6698 points.

Simoneau and Holzner returned to the pool later Wednesday as part of Canada’s nine-swimmer squad in team competition, with another Olympic berth on the line.

Canada swept the two events at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, with Simoneau and Karine Thomas earning duet gold and Holzner joining for the team event.

The sport was renamed from synchronized swimming to artistic swimming in 2017.

Later Wednesday, gymnast Ellie Black of Halifax looked to add to her record Pan Am medal haul. Black, Canada’s most decorated Pan Am gymnast with nine medals, will compete in the beam and floor competitions at the Villa El Salvador Sports Center.

EQUESTRIAN

Tina Irwin of Stouffville, Ont., riding Laurencio, took silver in individual dressage with a score of 77.780. Sarah Lockman of the U.S. won gold with 78.980. Irwin was part of Canada’s squad that won gold in the team dressage event on Monday and earned a berth at the 2020 Games.

“I was thrilled with the team gold but now to be on the podium individually is fantastic,” Irwin said. ”It was definitely my goal, I was coming to win a medal. I was hoping for, gold but that’s okay. My horse was amazing, the whole competition.”

BADMINTON

Michelle Li of Markham, Ont., advanced to the women’s semifinals with a 2-0 (21-9, 26-24) win over Mexico’s Haramara Gaitan. Toronto’s Brian Yang of defeated Osleni Gurrero of Cuba 2-1 (21-10, 15-21, 21-13) to advance to the men’s semifinals.

Toronto’s Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai of Surrey, B.C., won their women’s doubles quarterfinal 2-0 (21-3, 21-3) over a team from Peru. Tsai then teamed with Nyl Yakura of Pickering, Ont., for a 2-0 (21-10, 21-14) win over a Cuban tandem on a mixed doubles quarterfinal.

The Canadian Press

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