Nine Aggies Set for FINA World Championships
BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Nine Aggies are headed to the 19th FINA World Championships 2022, representing six different countries as the swimming events begin Saturday, June 18 and run through Saturday, June 25 at Duna Arena. Kaloyan Bratanov (Bulgaria), Munzy Kabbara (Lebanon), Kaloyan Levterov (Bulgaria), Angel Martinez (Mexico), Sydney Pickrem (Canada), Hector Ruvalcaba (Mexico), Jing Wen Quah (Singapore) and Shaine Casas (USA) will be competing in the pool, and Texas A&M’s men’s swimming & diving associate head coach Jason Calanog will join the Mexico coaching staff.
Pickrem returns to World Championships after an impressive showing in 2019. She became the first Canadian woman to bring home three medals from the long course championship meet, claiming a pair of individual bronze medals in the 200m IM and 200m breast, while also earning a top-three finish in the 4x100m medley relay. At 2021 Short Course World Championships, Pickrem earned her first world title after capturing gold in the 200m IM with a time of 2:04.29. She added another gold medal as part of the 4x200m free relay team and earned a silver medal as a member of the 4x100m medley relay. The two-time Olympian earned her first Olympic medal at the Tokyo Games, helping the 4x100m medley relay team lower the Canadian national record with a time of 3:52.60 to claim bronze.
Casas earned a spot on Team USA after a second-place finish in the 200m back at the U.S. World Championships Trials with a personal-best time of 1:55.46. At the TYR Pro Swim Series meet in San Antonio this year, Casas clocked a pair of long course personal bests, going 51.09 in the 100m fly and 1:56.70 in the 200m IM. The three-time NCAA Champion made a statement on the international stage at the 2021 Short Course World Championships in December, earning individual gold in the 100m back and adding a second gold medal as a member of the 4x50m medley relay team. Casas claimed silver in the 200m back, 4x100m medley relay and 4x50m mixed medley relay, and earned bronze as part of the 4x100m free relay.
Quah is coming off an impressive performance at the Southeast Asia Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May. She lowered the Singapore national record in the 200m fly with a time of 2:09.52 en route to her first gold medal of the meet. She also claimed the top spot in the 200m IM, 100m fly, 4x100m medley relay and 4x200m free relay. She added a bronze medal in the 50m fly with a time of 26.98.
Current student-athletes and Tokyo Olympians Kabbara and Levterov, along with Bratanov will make their debuts at the long course championship meet. Martinez, who also competed at the Tokyo Games, Ruvalcaba and Calanog will all represent Mexico. More details on the meet, including a schedule of events and results, can be found here.