Canadian synchronized swimmers win gold, secure Rio berth

Sat Jul 11, 2015 7:53pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian synchronized swimmers Jacqueline Simoneau and Karine Thomas won the gold medal in the duet event at the Pan American Games on Saturday to earn direct qualification for next year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Simoneau, 18, and Thomas, 26, leaders after the technical program, scored 178.0881 points to capture the gold medal.

Mexico's Karem Achach and Nuria Diosdado (170.7800) won silver while Americans Mariya Koroleva and Alison Williams (166.3876) finished third.

The duet event is one of a handful of disciplines in 10 sports that offer athletes a chance to secure a spot in the Rio Olympics, which are schedule for Aug. 5-21 next year.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue, editing by Gene Cherry)

Jacqueline Simoneau and Karine Thomas of Canada compete in the synchronized swimming duets during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports