Cochrane Wins Silver in 1500 Free
Coming a few days after Brent Hayden (VAND) won Canada's first bronze medal in the men's 100 Free, Ryan Cochrane (IS) moved up one step on the medal podium to take the silver medal in the men's 1500 free in a race that saw Sun Yang of China obliterate his world record set last year.
After a somewhat controversial start (Sun appeared to false-start, but it was ruled "official's error" - Sun jumped as the swimmers were instructed to step back), the race got underway and Sun wasted no time in establishing a lead that he would not relinquish.
Park Tae-Hwan was also out quickly and held second place for much of the first 400m, with Cochrane not far behind. At the 500m mark, though, Cochrane surged past Park.
By the 1000m mark, while Sun clearly had the race well in hand, Ous Mellouli had moved up into third, with his sights set on Cochrane, looking to repeat the late charge he made in 2008 where he went past Cochrane to claim the gold medal.
This year, though, Cochrane, who said in his post-race interview that he prepared over the past four years to race exactly like this, and everything played out pretty much as planned. He was ready for Mellouli's late charge, and when the two men turned at 1400m within half a second of each other, Cochrane had enough left in the tank, and enough speed, to stay ahead of Mellouli.
At the finish, Sun dropped almost four seconds off his world record to finish in 14:31.02; Cochrane took the silver in 14:39.63 and Mellouli the bronze in 14:40.31.
Congratulations, Ryan, his coach, Randy Bennett, and the rest of the team that contributed to this great performance and outcome!
Hayden Wins Canada's First-Ever Medal in Olympic Men's 100 Free
Brent Hayden (VAND), who grew up in Mission, BC, and swam with the Spartan Swim Club in Chilliwack under current Provincial Team Coach, Vince Mikuska prior to moving on to UBC and the National Training Centre there, made history on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, by winning Canada’s first ever-Olympic medal in the 100 m freestyle. Hayden, who won bronze, was awarded the medal by Richard Pound, the only other Canadian to make the 100 free finals at the Olympics.
Hayden had a decent semi-final but said in that post-race interview that he knew he had more in him, specifically targetting his start, turn, and finish. And indeed, he was right with everyone off the start, hit the turn in second place, just 1/100th behind first, and came out of the turn in the lead.
Nathan Adrian (USA) and James Magnusson (AUS) surged over the final 25m to claim the gold and silver, while Hayden out-touched three other men to take the bronze.
Congratulations, Brent, his coach, Tom Johnson and the rest of the team who helped make it possible.
(Photo credits:Ian Macnicol / Swimming Canada; Ed Kaiser/Postmedia Olympic Team)