Ryan Cochrane breaks 400 freestyle Canadian record at Janet Evans International

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LOS ANGELES – Ryan Cochrane of Victoria broke his Canadian record in the men’s 400-metre freestyle on Saturday for the bronze medal at the Janet Evans International swimming competition.

It was Canada’s third medal of the day. Tanya Hunks of Vancouver took silver in the women’s 400 individual medley and Brian Johns of Richmond, B.C., collected a bronze in the men’s 200 freestyle.

All three medallists are Olympic team nominees.

In the men’s 400, Ous Mellouli of Tunisia won the gold medal in three minutes and 44.79 seconds with Larsen Jensen of the U.S., second in 3:44.86. Cochrane, 19, clocked 3:47.21 to beat his previous mark of 3:47.92 set at the Beijing Swimming Trials in April.

‘’To be in the middle of some hard training and go this fast is very encouraging,’’ said Cochrane. ‘’But I knew at trials there were areas I could have done better and the work I’ve put in the last few weeks has really paid off. And after tonight there’s still so many little things I can do better to gain time. But this was exciting for me.’’

In the women’s 400 IM, Julia Smith of the U.S., was the victor in 4:38.58 with Hunks second in 4:44.33 and Andrea Kropp of the U.S., third in 4:51.31. It was Hunks’ second medal of the competition. She was second in the 400 freestyle on Friday.

‘’I went a little faster than at my last meet two weeks ago so I’m pleased,’’ said Hunks. ‘’I was most happy with the backstroke and breaststroke portions of my race. Doing so well in the 200 IM yesterday (fourth place) also gave me confidence with my speed.’’

There were three Canadians in the men’s 200 freestyle final with Johns earning the bronze in 1:49.52 to edge Rick Say of Victoria in fourth in 1:49.86. Stefan Hirniak of Victoria was seventh. Dominik Meichtry of Switzerland won gold in 1:48.31.

‘’To go under 1:50 when I’m racing pretty tired is good,’’ said Johns, also third in Friday’s 200 IM. ‘’I started with more confidence in the final and in the last 50 metres I could see everybody, I knew I was in contention and put together a decent finish.’’

Scott Dickens of Burlington, Ont., was fifth in the men’s 400 IM and Hirniak sixth in the 100 butterfly.

Competition ends Sunday

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