Lacroix hovers near world record in silver medal performance at swimming World Cup

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BERLIN – Audrey Lacroix of Montreal was on world record pace in the women’s 200-metre butterfly on Sunday but ran out of gas and finished with a silver medal to conclude the sixth stop on the World Cup short course swimming circuit.

Liu Yang Jiao of China made a late charge to snare the gold in two minutes and 04.48 seconds.

Lacroix led at all three splits (50-100 and 150 metres) and was under the world record at the last two, took the silver in 2:04.68. Franziska Hentke of Germany was third in 2:06.47.

‘’I started too fast and paid for it at the end,’’ said Lacroix. ‘’Still I was very pleased to post such a great time. I’m glad I attempted that kind of race, it was a very valuable experience. There were also a lot of improvements on my turns. I had trouble timing my turns this week and today that went very well.’’

Earlier this week, Lacroix won the gold medal in the 200 fly at the World Cup stop in Stockholm with a Canadian record time 2:04.53. The world record still stands at 2:04.04 set by Yu Yang of China in 2004.

Zsofia Balazs of Toronto was eighth in 2:12.80.

In the women’s 400 freestyle, Chanelle Charron-Watson of Quebec City added a second medal taking the silver in 4:07.97 which equalled her personal best. Federica Pellegrini of Italy won the race in 4:02.29. Chin-Kue Yang of Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) was third in 4:10.07. Balazs was fifth in 4:12.19.

‘’I gained some ground on the top swimmers in this event,’’ said Charron-Watson, a bronze medallist in the 800 freestyle in Stockholm. ‘’It was a thrill to finish with a medal in my best event because I fell short at the last World Cup. I learned a lot on this European tour and I’m more motivated now than I’ve ever been.’’

Other Canadian finalists were: Callum Ng of Calgary fourth in the men’s 50 backstroke; Seanna Mitchell of Ottawa seventh in the women’s 100 backstroke while Charron-Watson was also eighth in the 400 individual medley.

Thiago Pereira of Brazil and Stefan Nystrand of Sweden broke world records on Sunday.

Pereira swam the men’s 200-meter medley in 1 minute, 53.14 seconds, beating the time of 1:53.31 set by Ryan Lochte of the U.S., in 2006. Pereira won six gold medals at the Pan Am Games earlier this year.

Nystrand finished the men’s 100 freestyle in 20.93 — 0.05 faster than the mark Roland Schoeman set in 2006. The Swede’s second world record at the meet was the fourth overall in two days.

Canada’s top swimmers head to Toronto for the Bell Grand Prix this Friday to Sunday (November 23-25).

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