Richard Weinberger (UVPCS) took another giant step in his open water swimming career on Sunday winning the bronze medal in the men’s open water 10 kilometre race to conclude the Pan Pacific swimming championships.
Chip Peterson led the U.S., to a 1-2 finish in one hour and 56 minutes and 00. 02 seconds, Frances Crippen was second in 1:56:02.744 and Weinberger followed in 1:56:02.984.
“This (medal) is the result of so much work,” said Weinberger, 20, 13th at the world championships last month. “I had a disappointing 1,500 freestyle in the pool and I decided that I wasn't going to finish the meet on a bad note. I wanted to make my country proud and win a medal.”
Weinberger says his result has given him a lot of confidence for the future.
“The race today made me realize that I'm on the right path to representing Canada in London (at the Olympics),” he said. “I see myself as an Olympian.”
Aimeson King of Victoria was 11th.
In the women’s 10 kilometre, Zsofia Balazs of Toronto was sixth and Nadine Williams of Edmonton ninth. Christine Jennings of the U.S., took the gold.
Canada ends the five-day competition with 11 medals (two gold, two silver and seven bronze) its highest total at the Pan Pacs since earning 11 in 1999. The competition also established the 27-member Canadian team for the Commonwealth Games in October.
“We continue to make progress every year,” said Swimming Canada’s CEO and national coach Pierre Lafontaine. “We have structure in our system and our youngsters are pushing the veterans. I was impressed with our professional approach this week and how the swimmers really supported each other.”
Canadian medallists at the Pan Pacs were:
Gold (2): Ryan Cochrane Victoria, 1,500 freestyle and 800 freestyle.
Silver (2): Brent Hayden, Vancouver, 100 freestyle; Cochrane, 400 freestyle.
Bronze (7): women’s 4X200 freestyle relay (Geneviève Saumur, Montreal; Julia Wilkinson, Victoria; Barbara Jardin, Montreal; Samantha Cheverton, Pointe-Claire, Que.); women’s 4X100 freestyle relay (Victoria Poon, Montreal; Wilkinson; Erica Morningstar, Calgary; Saumur); Scott Dickens, Vancouver, 50 breaststroke; Hayden, 50 freestyle; Annamay Pierse, Vancouver, 200 breaststroke; Poon, 50 freestyle; Richard Weinberger, Victoria, 10 kilometre.
Full results available at: http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=1835&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&mid=9520&ItemId=4997
B-Roll and Interview with Richard Weinberger will be available on www.sendtonews.com