STOCKHOLM – Audrey Lacroix of Montreal put together the finest short course swim of her career on Wednesday as she won the gold medal in the women’s 200-metre butterfly to conclude the fifth stop on the World Cup swimming circuit.
Lacroix clocked two minutes and 04.53 seconds to smash her previous national short course mark of 2:06.90 set at the British Championships in 2004.
‘’I’m so happy, I had a great race,’’ said Lacroix. ‘’It’s a great way to start this stretch of competitions. I came here unsure of how I would fare. At 150 metres I couldn’t understand why the crowd was screaming so loud. I knew the race wasn’t that close. It’s only when I finished that I realized I was close to the world record.’’
Lacroix will have a couple of more opportunities this months to chase the mark. There is another World Cup stop this weekend in Berlin and November 23-25 the Bell Grand Prix is in Toronto.
‘’I felt I raced so well that I can’t pinpoint a specific area where I could gain that half second,’’ said Lacroix. ‘’I’ll need to analyze the race more closely. I came on this trip not fully prepared so I wasn’t thinking about records.’’
With her continued success throughout 2007, Lacroix says confidence is now a key factor in her improved performances. At the world championships earlier this year she placed fifth in Canadian record time.
‘’My long course (50-metre pool) performances are having an effect here for sure,’’ she said. ‘’I know I can race the top swimmers in the world. And I know this race inside out. I know what I need to do to have success in it.’’
Callum Ng of Vancouver fifth in the 50 backstroke while Chanelle Charron-Watson of Quebec City and Zsofia Balazs of Toronto were fifth and seventh respectively in the women’s 400 freestyle.