Christina Lake’s James Dergousoff has taken another major step in his swimming career.
Earlier this month in Montreal at Canadian Summer Nationals, he qualified for the FINA (international swimming federation) World Junior Championships, to be held in Dubai, UAE, from Aug. 26 to Aug. 31.
At age 16, Dergousoff will be competing against the best 18-year-old and under swimmers in the world.
His qualifying race at nationals was the 200-metre breaststroke, where he set a new provincial record and earned a silver medal in the open category. He is currently in Sherbrooke, Que. with Team BC preparing for the Canada Summer Games, which start this Friday (Aug. 2).
After the summer games, his Team Canada World Junior teammates will assemble in Barcelona for a one-week staging camp before heading to Dubai.
Dergousoff started off his swimming career at a very early age at the Grand Forks Aquatic Centre; his first swim lessons as a two-year-old were taught by another Christina Laker, Dayna Esson. At five years old, James joined the Grand Forks Piranhas Swim Club, where his first swim coach was Cora Ludwar. He made the transition to winter swimming in 2008, and joined the Chena North Shore Swim Team in North Vancouver, B.C., where he has trained ever since. He is currently coached by Patrick Paradis.
Also at summer nationals, Chena’s junior men’s team set a new Canadian national record in the men’s 17 and under 4×100-metre medley relay, with Dergousoff swimming the breaststroke leg of the race – he now holds six provincial records and one national record.
Earlier this year, he travelled to Sydney, Australia with a Team Canada tour team to compete in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
Another highlight happened this past May, when he swam against world record holder Ryan Lochte in the 200-metre Individual medley finals at the Canada Cup (Mel Zajac) swim meet in Vancouver.
Dergousoff is looking forward to coming home to Christina Lake where he can rest up, kick back, relax, enjoy the lake, and visit with friends.
– Contributed by Theresa Dergousoff