Hayden Takes Gold in 100 Free; Fastest Time in the World 2010

DELHI (October 7, 2010) - Brent Hayden (UBCD) won the gold medal in the men’s 100-metre freestyle on Thursday at the Commonwealth Games posting the fasting time in the world this year.

“This win means a whole lot to me,” said an ecstatic Hayden.  “There had been only two major championships that I hadn’t won a gold medal and this was one of them.  Now I just got to work on getting that Olympic medal.”

It was Canada’s second gold and fifth medal overall in swimming at the Games.

In the men’s 100 freestyle, Hayden led from start to finish clocking 47.98 seconds.  The previous 2010 best was 48.13 set by Michael Phelps at the Pan Pacific Championships in August.  The time is also a Games record.

England's Simon Burnett, the defending Games champion, was second in 48.54 and Eamon Sullivan of Australia, the Olympic silver medallist and top qualifier from the semis, was third in 48.69.

Hayden’s surge coming into the last 25 metres left it a race for silver.  “There’s always a time in the race where I actually do dig in deeper,” Hayden said.  “I definitely know when I have to kick it in.”

He is the fourth Canadian male swimmer to win a medal in three Commonwealth Games, after totaling a  silver and five bronzes in 2002 and 2006.

Hayden, the 2007 world champion, had a mild case of what athletes are calling "Delhi belly,” which is the usual travel ailments of upset stomach and diarrhea.

“It’s been getting a little bit better everyday and I’m almost over it,” said Hayden.  “I’ve been able to keep it under control.  When your mind is in the moment you are able to overcome everything.”

Other Canadian results in finals: Katarina Roxon of Stephenville, N.L., was fifth in the 100 freestyle for swimmers with a disability; Brian Johns (UBCD) was sixth in the men’s 400 IM while Audrey Lacroix and Katerine Savard, both of Pont-Rouge, Que., were sixth and eighth respectively in the women’s 100 butterfly.

“It was a personal best time so I was very pleased with my performance,” said Roxon.  “It was great to hear the cheers from the Canadians in the crowd.”

Several Canadians qualified for finals through Thursday’s semis.  For the men, Scott Dickens (UBCD) in the 50 breaststroke and Stefan Hirniak (IS) in the 100 fly and for the women Julia Wilkinson (IS) and Sinead Russell of Oakville, Ont., in the 50 back, Annamay Pierse and Martha McCabe (both UBCD) in the 100 breaststroke and Victoria Poon of Montreal in the 50 freestyle.

Full results available at: http://results.cwgdelhi2010.org/en/Root.mvc/