Ryan Cochrane earned Canada’s first medal of the 2013 FINA World Championships by placing third in the 800 freestyle. Cochrane who earlier in the meet stated he has been focusing on the 800 freestyle through his preparation, was off his lifetime best of 7:41.86, finishing in a time of 7:43.70.
Cochrane stayed within striking distance of the eventual winner, Sun Yang of China, up until the 650 meter mark where he was 0.65 behind Yang and by 700 meters there was a distance of 1.73 seconds between the two swimmers.
The final 100 meters was a thrilling race between three North Americans; Cochrane, Michael McBroom and Connor Jaeger. With McBroom finishing second in a time of 7:43.60, Cochrane finishing third in a time of 7:43.70 and Jaeger finishing fourth in a time of 7:44.26.
“There’s so many great competitors that in this 800 I think anybody had a chance at the podium. To know I could claw my way back onto the podium is great and we have the 1,500 to look forward to after this,” Cochrane told Swimming Canada.
Coachrane now has one race to focus on, the 1500 freestyle, a race that he won the Olympic silver medal in finishing behind Yang, “The field is getting faster and faster and I think one of the mistakes we made (in the 800) is playing into everybody else’s race tactics.,” Cochrane said. “Seeing that the field was so even shows we were all trying hard but maybe not executing the race plans we wanted to. In the 1,500 you can have front-end speed, back-end speed, people who have different technical sides.”
Audrey Lacroix and Katerine Savard both competed in the semi-finals of the 200 butterfly. Lacroix, who is one of the veterans on the Canadian national team, finished 10th in a time of 2:07.91, but was only five one-hundredths of a second from qualifying for the final. That time is just off her season’s best of 2:07.89, which she posted at the Canadian Trials in April.
“Audrey had a very good swim. When you’re a couple hundredths out of a final, it’s just unfortunate about the place. I’m sure she’s upset and wanted to get into the big final but she did a lot of things very well. She swam a great 200 fly, she controlled herself, and she managed the race really well,” Randy Bennett, the Head Coach of the Canadian national team told Swimming Canada.
Savard finished 15th in a time of 2:10.42, which is a ways away from her season and lifetime best of 2:08.34, which she also recorded at the Canadian Trials.
“If you look at the series of swims that Katerine’s done since Kazan, looking forward to the medley relay (on Sunday) and the World Cups, she’s really positioning herself as one of the premier butterflyers in the world,” Bennett said. “Over the period of time she’s held up really well, so that’s a great swim. I think we’ll get a great split out of her in the medley relay, then we’ll look forward to her ripping it up at the short-course World Cups.”
In the semi-final of the 50 backstroke Canadian Olympian Sinead Russell finished 14th in a time of 28.35.