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Jon McKay and Eric Hedlin Heading to World Championships!

Jon McKay won the 10km trials in the Cayman Islands this past weekend to solidify his placement on the Canadian World Championships Team this summer where he will race the 10km event.  This will Jon's first World Championships, was his first win at Trials, and also earns him a place in the Vikes Platinum Circle of Excellence hanging at McKinnon Pool.  

Jon swam a very smart race to win.  Having learned from some of his limited OW experience last summer, he opted to let competitors Hau-Li Fan and Eric Hedlin lead the race before pushing the pace and separating himself with about 1.2km to go.  Knowing that his competitors have better finishing speed, he had to really push a bit earlier and build a lead that he could hopefully hold to the finish.  His strategy obviously worked great as they were ultimately unable to close the gap. 

Eric Hedlin, coming off a Pan Pacific Games silver medal performance last summer, led a fair bit of the race, but lost out to Jon and UBC's Hau-Li Fan, finishing in 3rd.  Eric was selected to the World Championships Team for his effort, but will race in the 5km and not the 10km event. 

The 10km event at World Championships will be the first of two opportunities for athletes to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Team in Open Water.  Those hoping to qualify this summer will have to place in the top 10, and top two in their country.  Those not qualified afterwards, unless someone from their country successfully qualify at 2019 Worlds, will have a second chance to make the team in the spring of 2020.

2nd year vike and new PCS swimmer Ethan Phillips swam hard, but was unable to match the increasing pace of the frontrunners moving into the second half of the race.  Vikes Alum and 3-time Olympian Stephanie Horner also raced, finishing in 3rd place as some of the younger women proved themselves worthy of their spots on a World Championships team.

Please see Swimming Canada's article, Jon's interview, and the race summary here