Synchronized swimmers Jacqueline Simoneau and Karine Thomas got off to a solid start at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre, with their eyes on the podium in Rio.
The Canadians finished seventh out of 24 duets in the preliminary free routine on Sunday, with a score of 90.0667. That’s eight points behind the leaders from Russia, and 4.3 points behind the third-place pairing from Japan.
Thomas, a 27-year-old from Gatineau, Quebec, is back for her second Olympics, after being part of the Canadian team that fell just short of the podium (fourth place) at London 2012.
Simoneau, a 19-year-old from Montreal, is making her Olympic debut after posting impressive results as a junior in recent years.
Together, Thomas and Simoneau won a pair of gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games, in both the duet and team competitions. They are Canada’s only competitors in synchronized swimming at these Olympic Games.
Up next for the pair is the technical routine on Monday, ahead of the final free routine on Tuesday, in which the medals will be handed out.
Canada’s last medal in synchronized swimming was a bronze in the team event at Sydney 2000, while the last Canadian duet to reach the podium was the twin team of Penny and Vicky Vilagos at Barcelona 1992.