Canadas Chanelle Charron-Watson earns first World Cup swimming medal

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Lotte Friis of Denmark won the race in 8:20.63 with Nan Ha Si of China second in 8:28.10. Charron-Watson bettered her personal best by seven seconds to take the bronze in 8:31.53. Zsofia Balazs of Toronto was fourth in 8:40.71.

“I’m very pleased,” said Charron-Watson, 23, a member of all three medal-winning relay teams at the Pan Am Games this summer.

“I’ve been working on my distance events the last few weeks and that obviously paid off today. One of the reasons I came here was to see how my body would react to that training and how I would manage the fatigue. It shows I’m on the right track heading into an Olympic year.”

In the men’s 100 backstroke, World Cup leader Randall Bal of the U.S., took the gold in 51.01 with Hongzhe Sun of China second in 52.34 and Arkady Vyatchanin of Russia third in 52.59. Callum Ng of Calgary was fourth in a personal best 53.01. Ng and Vyatchanin, were in neighbouring lanes and tied for third at the last turn.

“There were a few elements I didn’t do as well but it was good to be in there,” said Ng. “I enjoyed the atmosphere and racing against such talent. To get a best time this early in the season is great. My goal is to get on the podium at the next stop.”

Balazs was also sixth in the 200 backstroke while Audrey Lacroix of Montreal was sixth in the 100 butterfly and seventh in the 200 freestyle.

Competition ends Wednesday.

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