EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands – Annamay Pierse of Vancouver broke her national record on her way to gold in the 200 breaststroke and Tanya Hunks of Vancouver added two medals in a five-medal Canadian performance to open the SwimCup 2007 competition.

In the women’s 200-metre breaststroke, Pierse got caught off guard at the start but still clocked 2:25.22 to eclipse her previous Canadian mark of 2:25.73 set at the World University Games in August.

Joline Hostman of Sweden was second in 2:31.31 and Emma Bird of Britain third in 2:33.17. Michelle Landry of Vancouver was seventh.

“I didn’t hear the start at all,” said Pierse, who was about to stand on the starter’s block when the signal went off then proceeded to dive in the pool.

“So I probably lost about three-tenths of a second right there and a chance to go under 2:25. But I was pleased with how I fixed up that mistake quickly in the race. In the past I may have fallen apart but I knew it was just the start and I had 200 metres to recover from it.”

Hunks collected silver in one of her best events, the 800 freestyle, then added a surprise bronze in the 200 butterfly.

In the 800 freestyle, Ionela Cozma of Romania took the gold in 8:38.44, Hunks followed in 8:43.53 and Rebecca Cooke of Britain was third in 8:46.46.

In the 200 fly, Annika Mehlhorn led Germany to a 1-2 finish in 2:11.05 with Nina Schiffer second in 2:13.75 and Hunks third in 2:14.94.

Canada added two more medals in men’s competition with Stefan Hirniak of Victoria collecting silver in the 200 butterfly and Brent Hayden of Vancouver adding bronze in the 200 freestyle.

In the 200 butterfly, Mathieu Fonteyn of Belgium was the winner in 1:59.31 with Hirniak surging to second with a b finish in 2:00.31. Joeri Verlinden of the Netherlands was third in 2:00.63.

In the 200 freestyle, three-time Olympic champion Pieter Van Den Hoogenband of the Netherlands won the gold in 1:46.46 with Romans Miloslavskis of Latvia second in 1:48.85 and Hayden third in 1:49.08.

“Brent’s second 100 metres was the fastest of the meet,” said Pierre Lafontaine Swimming Canada’s CEO and national coach. “But he is not fully rested so his front end speed is not as fast. And the Dutch are fully prepared here because it is one of their Olympic qualifying events.”

Other Canadian finalists in men’s competition were Keith Beavers of Waterloo, Ont., fifth in the 100 backstroke and Mathieu Bois of Montreal fifth in the 200 breaststroke. For the women, Kelly Stefanyshyn of Vancouver was fourth in the 100 backstroke.

Canada also won three B finals: Matt Hawes took the 100 backstroke, Beavers the 200 breaststroke and Caitlin Meredith of Vancouver the women’s 100 backstroke, all for ninth place finishes overall.

Competition continues through to Sunday.

Thursday’s leading results at the SwimCup 2007 swimming competition

100 m backstroke:
A Final:
1. Randall Bal, U.S., 53.54
2. Helge Meeuw, Germany, 54.22
3. Nick Driebergen, Netherlands, 55.66
5. Keith Beavers, Waterloo, Ont., 56.23

B Final:
1. Matt Hawes, Vancouver, 56.36
6. Charles Francis, Montreal, 57.85

200 m breaststroke
A Final:
1. Robin Van Aggele, Netherlands, 2:14.56
2. Andreas Losel, Germany, 2:14.93
3. Carlos Esteves De Almeida, Portugal, 2:15.00
5. Mathieu Bois, Montreal, 2:15.77

B Final:
1. Keith Beavers, Waterloo, Ont., 2:17.94

200 m butterfly:
1. Mathieu Fonteyn, Belgium, 1:59.31
2. Stefan Hirniak, Victoria, 2:00.31
3. Joeri Verlinden, Netherlands, 2:00.63

200 m freestyle:
A Final:
1. Pieter Van Den Hoogenband, Netherlands, 1:46.46
2. Romans Miloslavskis, Latvia, 1:48.85
3. Brent Hayden, Vancouver, 1:49.08

B Final:
5. Ryan Cochrane, Victoria, 1:51.84

100 m backstroke:
A Final:
1. Katy Sexton, Britain, 1:01.79
2. Nina Zhivanevskaia, Spain, 1:02.37
3. Mercedes Peris Minguet, Spain, 1:03.24
4. Kelly Stefanyshyn, Vancouver, 1:03.75

B Final:
1. Caitlin Meredith, Vancouver, 1:03.97

200 m breaststroke:
A Final:
1. Annamay Pierse, Vancouver, 2:25.22
2. Joline Hostman, Sweden, 2:31.31
3. Emma Bird, Britain, 2:33.17
7. Michelle Landry, Vancouver, 2:39.16

200 m butterfly:
A Final:
1. Annika Mehlhorn, Germany, 2:11.05
2. Nina Schiffer, Germany, 2:13.75
3. Tanya Hunks, Vancouver, 2:14.94

200 m freestyle:
A Final:
1. Inge Dekker, Netherlands, 1:58.63
2. Annika Lurz, Germany, 1:59.13
3. Petra Dallmann, Germany, 1:59.65

B Final:
4. Elizabeth Collins, Vancouver, 2:03.37

800 m freestyle:
1. Ionela Cozma, Romania, 8:38.44
2. Tanya Hunks, Vancouver, 8:43.53
3. Rebecca Cooke, Britain, 8:46.56