Delhi Games timing is off-season for swimming: Canada coach
New Delhi: Canada’s 200m breaststroke world record holder Annamay Pierse and coach Pierre Lafontaine feel the timing of the Delhi Commonwealth Games is off-season for swimming and adapting to the conditions would be the key to winning a medal at the October 3 to 14 event.
Pierse said she is nonetheless excited about coming to Delhi.
“I’m really excited. You just have to change your season mentality and treat (the competition in) Delhi in October like it was August. I’ve always wanted to go to India. That’s always been on my list since I was little,” she said in a press release by the Organisers.
Lafontaine, who is also the Swimming Canada Chief Executive Officer, said timing of the event is playing on their minds and adapting to the conditions would be important.
“In Delhi, who adapts the most to the time of year and the conditions will win the medals. Like track and field, swimming is used to an April to August season and Delhi takes us out of season so, like a sporting version of Darwinism, those who adapt the best will win the most medals at the Games,” he said.
The 28-member team, including three Para swimmers, will be chosen from among the 52-member Team Canada at the 2010 Pan Pacific championships in Irvine, California, later this month.
“The best from Australia and England will be at Delhi, so we can’t avoid sending our best swimmers, too. We will go to India with an open mind and treat it as a life experience. The Games are breaking ground in a new country and we get to be a part of that.
“The athletes village and venues will be fantastic. In terms of safety, there is more security at a Games than anywhere else in the world at that point in time,” he said.
Canada’s lone medallist in the pool at the 2008 Beijing Olympics Ryan Cochrane said, “It’s just an extra month of training, really. There are always worries wherever you go. I trust Swimming Canada and the (Canadian Olympic Committee) not to send us anywhere unsafe. I would tell my parents to go to Delhi if they wanted to.”