VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada, May 22. A strong mix of international swimmers will be featured at the 46th edition of the Mel Zajac International swim meet this weekend at the UBC Aquatic Center in Vancouver.
Recently crowned World Short Course Record holder Annamay Pierse will be battling Beijing silver medalist Megan Jendrick of the US in the women's breaststroke events. Pierse, originally from Edmonton who now trains at the National Center in Vancouver with coach Joszef Nagy, will be using her home crowd to her advantage during her marquee event, the 200 breast scheduled on Saturday.
"The depth in Canadian swimming has grown significantly and has allowed us to attract a larger contingency of top international swimmers to our competitions," said Pierre Lafontaine, CEO and National Coach. "Many of the Beijing Olympians swimming this weekend will be challenged by the Canadian and US junior teams competing here. It's going to be an exciting meet and a great indicator for World Championships this summer."
Olympic Champion and World Record holder Bronte Barratt of Brisbane Australia will be challenging Olympians Erica Morningstar of Calgary, Savannah King and Tanya Hunks of Vancouver as well as junior team member Alexandra Gabor of Whitehorse.
‘08 Olympic Bronze medalist Ryan Cochrane of Victoria will be gauging his World Championship preparation in the distance events.
Mission's Brent Hayden, World Champion in the 100 free, will be competing next to Olympic teammates Joel Greenshiels of Airdrie Alta and Richard Hortness of Medicine Hat in the sprint freestyle events.
Other Beijing Olympians competing this weekend are Lindsay Seemann of Newmarket, Joe Bartoch of London, Brian Johns of Richmond, Keith Beavers of Orangeville and Alexa Kormarnychy of Etobicoke.
Pan American Games Gold medalist Scott Dickens of Vancouver and Matt Hawes of Ottawa will be the top contenders in the Men's breaststroke and backstroke respectively.
National Junior Coach Ken McKinnon will be overseeing a Canadian Prospect team who will be getting a taste of senior level swimming. "This new initiative will allow our young national team prospects to acquire racing experience surrounded by the best in the World," said McKinnon. The national prospects team includes six 14-under boys and ten 13-under girls.
Swimming Canada will be hosting its National Freestyle relay camp at the Vancouver National Swim Center following the Mel Zajac International.
Preliminary heats for the Mel Zajac International in Vancouver on May 22-24 start at 9:00 am with finals going at 5:30 pm all three days. Admission is free.
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