Super Saturday for Canadian swimmers at Commonwealth Games
DELHI (October 9, 2010) – Ryan Cochrane of Island Swimming and Brent Hayden of UBC Dolphins spearheaded a five medal performance for Canadian swimmers on Saturday at the Commonwealth Games, with each of them earning their second gold medals of the competition.
The Canadian swim team doubled its medal count to 10 to end the Games with five gold, a silver and four bronze. It is the first time Canada has won five swimming gold at the Commonwealth Games since 1990.
On Saturday, Benoit Huot of Montreal added a victory in the men’s 100 freestyle Paraswimming event, Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge, Que., took silver in the 200 butterfly then helped Canada to bronze in the women’s 4X100 medley relay.
Hayden set the tone winning the opening final, the men’s 50 freestyle in a Games record 22.01 seconds. Roland Schoeman of South Africa was second ion 22.14 and his compatriot Gideon Louw third in 22.22. Hayden also won the 100 freestyle earlier this week.
“To win two gold medals here is huge for me,” said Hayden. “I came here only looking at gold and when you set high standards for yourself and you achieve it, it is such a rewarding feeling. I didn’t have my best 50 tonight, I was a little more nervous than usual, but it was a solid performance.”
In the men’s 1,500 freestyle, Cochrane finished in 15:01.49 for his second victory after earning gold in the 400 freestyle on day one. Heerden Herman of South Africa was second in 15:03.70 and Daniel Fogg of England third. Sean Penhale of Victoria was eighth.
‘’As soon as I dove in I could feel the effects from an extended season,’’ said Cochrane`, the Olympic bronze medallist in the event. ‘’The time is what it is and I’m happy to be on top of the podium again. It was great to be pushed like that today and I think the time will come through. I’m really happy with the progression towards London.’’
In the Paraswimming 100 freestyle, Huot clocked a Games record 53.70 for the victory with Andrew Pasterfield of Australia second in 55.04 and Robert Welbourn of England third in 55.10.
‘’I won the bronze in 2002, the silver in 2006 so I definitely wanted the gold this year,’’ said Huot, recapping his Commonwealth Games history. ‘’This is something I had been thinking about for a year. I knew October 9 I was swimming the 100 freestyle here. I put pressure on myself because I knew I had a chance to win it.’’
In the women’s 200 butterfly, Jessica Schipper of Australia fended off a strong challenge from Lacroix on the last length to win in 2:07.04. Lacroix followed in 2:07.31 and Ellen Gandy of England third in 2:07.75. MacKenzie Downing (UVPCS) was sixth.
“I was going for the win but it’s still a nice result,” said Lacroix. “I didn't have a great season overall so it's encouraging to finish that way. I think it is just a matter of time before I can out a little faster. I know right now I am among the fastest for the second half of the race.’’
Julia Wilkinson (IS), Annamay Pierse (UBCD), Lacroix and Victoria Poon of Montreal earned Canada’s bronze in the 4X100 medley relay. It was Wilkinson’s third bronze medal of the competition.
‘’Nothing has worked for me this week and to come here on the last day and to swim for my team and have the support from these three girls helped so much,’’ said Pierse.
The men’s medley relay was fourth with Tobias Oriwol of Pointe-Claire, Que., Scott Dickens (UBCD), Stefan Hirniak (IS) and Hayden.
Katarina Roxon of Stephenville, N.L. was fifth in the Paraswimming 100 fly and Alexa Komarnycky (IS) seventh in the 400 IM.
Medal ceremonies and post-race comments from Cochrane and Hayden: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-8gLvz9QE8
Full results available at: http://results.cwgdelhi2010.org/en/Root.mvc/