Canadians in Qatar to compete for short-course gold

DOHA, QATAR – A “small yet quality” Team Canada will take on the best in the world as the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) open Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.

Two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane (ISC) of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria, headlines the 10-member team. Cochrane, who was recently named Swimming Canada’s OMEGA Male Swimmer of the Year for 2014, will be joined by HPC-Victoria training partner and multiple international medallist Hilary Caldwell (PSW). Their coach Randy Bennett will serve as head coach, with National Development Coach Ken McKinnon working alongside him as a team coach. 
The versatile Emily Overholt (WVOSC) of the High Performance Centre – Vancouver will compete in her first senior world championships less than two months after her 17th birthday. Meanwhile 20-year-old breaststroker Kierra Smith (LLSC) of Kelowna, B.C., will join the team in the midst of a strong start to the NCAA season with Minnesota.

Complete team list:

Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson sees the meet as valuable preparation for next year’s Pan Am Games in Toronto and long-course FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

“We have a great opportunity from our small yet quality team to continue to race against the best in the world,” said Atkinson. “We are focused on individual events only and this will give all a great chance to test out their warm up strategies, preparation, racing tactics and swim down recovery process.”

Cochrane enters his first world short-course championships with the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the 1,500-m freestyle. His 14:35.97 was good for a silver medal at last month’s FINA/Mastbank World Cup stop in Singapore.

Other Olympians on the two-man, eight-woman Team Canada include Pont-Rouge, Que., butterflyers Katerine Savard and Audrey Lacroix, both gold medallists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“This team will be focused on best performances in a prepared state, that is, tapered and shaved for a FINA World Championships. This fits our Swimming Canada philosophy very well in preparing for the meets that count. This World Championships in Doha, the Canadian Swimming Trials in April, then the summer performances are when it counts,” Atkinson said. 

Live results are available here: