CANET-EN-ROUSILLON, France – Katerine Savard of Cap-Rouge, Que., Hilary Caldwell (PSW/HPC- Victoria) of White Rock, B.C., and Ryan Cochrane (ISC/HPC-Victoria) of Victoria all stepped on the podium on Saturday to open the Mare Nostrum swimming circuit.
In the women’s 200-m backstroke, three-time world champion Katinka Hosszu of Hungary was the winner in 2:08.05. Caldwell, based at Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Victoria and the world championship bronze medallist in 2013, followed in 2:09.99 and Jenny Mensing of Germany was third in 2:10.43.
In the men’s 400-m freestyle, James Guy of Britain was first in 3:46.84, Devon Brown of South Africa second in 3:48.28 and Cochrane, also from HPC Victoria, was third in 3:49.96.4
"I found prelims to be a bit sluggish, but was able to better myself for the final tonight,’’ said Cochrane, a two-time Olympic medallist. ‘’The time was fairly average for this time of year and I'm hoping to get better and better as these meets go on.
‘’Our main focus is on the world championships and Pan Am Games for this summer and everything we do is to get us ready for those two competitions. This is just another step on the way to those results.’’
In the women’s 100-m butterfly, two-time world championship medallist Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark took the gold in 57.31 seconds, edging Savard who clocked 57.76. Marie Wattel of France was third in 58.43.
‘’It’s my best time this year so I’m pleased,’’ Savard told Sportcom. ‘I’m currently in hard training for the world championships and the Pan Am Games so to so it’s pretty good to be in the 57’s.’’
Chantal Van Landeghem of Winnipeg was seventh in the women’s 50-m freestyle.
Two Canadians won B Finals for ninth overall: Richard Funk of Edmonton in the 100-m breaststroke and Mary-Sophie Harvey of Montreal, in the 200-m individual medley.
‘’It was the second best time of my career,’’ said Harvey, 15. ‘’I showed a lot of improvement on the breaststroke length and that augurs well for this summer. I was pretty nervous competing against a lot of big names here but now I’m looking forward to getting better.’’
Competition ends Sunday. The second stop is in Barcelona June 10-11 and the third and final stop is June 13-14 in Monaco.