Hayden Wins Silver in 100Free at Worlds

SHANGHAI (July 28, 2011) – Brent Hayden (UBCD) put a tough season behind him with a silver medal performance in the men’s 100-metre freestyle on Thursday in swimming action at the FINA World Aquatic Championships.

It was Canada’s second swimming medal of the competition.  On Wednesday, Ryan Cochrane of Victoria was second in the 800 freestyle.  Canada will be in the hunt for more medals on Friday after Annamay Pierse and Martha McCabe, both of Vancouver, qualified for the women’s 200 breaststroke final.

In the men’s 100 freestyle final, James Magnussen of Australia was the winner in 47.63 seconds, Hayden, fourth at the turn, emerged with the silver in 47.95 and William Meynard of France was third in 48.00.

‘’It’s awesome,’’ said Hayden, a bout winning his second career world championship medal.  He was the 2007 world champion.  ‘’I was hungry to get the medal.  The work I had done on the start really paid off with my reaction time off the blocks being one of the best.’’

Hayden didn’t go into the worlds full of confidence after struggling at a couple of tune-up meets leading up.  But with several family members in the stands, including his parents and fiancé, Hayden rose to the occasion.

‘’I knew I had done a 47.98 less than a year ago at the Commonwealth Games so that was something that I kept in mind,’’ said Hayden.  ‘’I really took the experience I have gained over the years and applied it for this final.’’

‘’We put the emphasis on more training this season and reduced the number of competitions,’’ said Hayden’s coach Tom Johnson.  ‘’So that meant the results this season were not at the level he was use to.  But we stayed the course and kept moving forward.  It really bodes well for the future.’’

Canadians were in two other finals Thursday night and both involved Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont.  Wilkinson tied for sixth in the 50 backstroke lowering her Canadian record a second time to 28.09.    Later she joined forces with Barbara Jardin of Montreal, Samantha Cheverton of Pointe-Claire, Que., and Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke for seventh in the 4X200 freestyle relay.

‘’It’s been an alright meet,’’ said Wilkinson, who missed the podium in the 50 back by a mere 0.08 seconds.  ‘’This is the first time I’ve ever been in two individual A finals at the worlds.  It’s always good to do something new but I was going in to win a medal tonight.’’

In the semi finals, the highlight for Canada was the women’s 200 breaststroke as Pierse, the world record holder, and McCabe qualified fourth and sixth respectively for the final in 2:24.73 and 2:24.86.  Rebecca Soni of the U.S., was the fastest qualifier in 2:21.03.

‘’I’m extremely happy with that,’’ said Pierse, who has battled severe illness and injury since her silver medal performance in the event at the 2009 worlds.  ‘’It has been one hell of a year and it’s been tough to come back to this level.’’

In the men’s 200 breaststroke semi, Mike Brown of Calgary who came out of retirement last year after a fourth place finish at the Beijing Olympics missed the cut by one spot placing ninth.

‘’It’s a bit tough not to make the final,’’ said Brown.  ‘’But to go from 20 pounds overweight and be ninth in the world is good.  I want to be back on the podium and I know there is a process to that.  I’m looking forward t the next 12 months.’’

In the other semis, Victoria Poon of Montreal was 12th in the women’s 100 freestyle and Tobias Oriwol of Toronto 14th in the 200 backstroke.

In action for Canada in Friday’s prelims are Hayden in the 50 freestyle, Katerine Savard of Quebec City in the women’s 50 butterfly, Joe Bartoch of London, Ont., in the men’s 100 fly, Sinead Russell of Oakville, Ont., and Geneviève Cantin of Quebec City in the women’s 200 backstroke Savannah King of Vancouver in the women’s 800 freestyle and the men’s 4X200 freestyle relay.