LOS ANGELES – Ryan Cochrane of Victoria continued an extraordinary performance at the Janet Evans International swimming competition on Sunday breaking his Canadian record in the men’s 1,500-metre freestyle for the gold medal.
Cochrane clocked 14 minutes and 50.65 seconds to eclipse his previous mark of 14:54.66 set in April at the Beijing Swimming Trials. It was also the fourth fastest time in the world this year.
Ous Mellouli of Tunisia was second on Sunday in 14:56.22 and Larsen Jensen of fthe U.S., third in 14:58.80.
‘’I definitely swam it differently than at the trials,’’ said Cochrane, 18, who also lowered his 400 freestyle national mark on Saturday. ‘’I didn’t rush it as much and didn’t overstroke. I knew I was swimming fast from my 400 time and that helped me get out to the lead quickly. I really like the tactics in this race and I felt great when it was over.’’
Savannah King of Vernon, B.C., also collected a second gold with a victory in the women’s 800 freestyle. The 16-year-old clocked a personal best 8:36.33 but she missed the FINA standard to swim the event at the Olympics by only 0.35 seconds. She was already qualified in the 400.
‘’I improved my time by three seconds so it’s hard to ask for better than that,’’ said King. ‘’I just wished I could have gone a little faster. I knew I was on track for the time with my teammates cheering but by the 500-metre mark I was hurting.’’
Canada earned three more medals with Annamay Pierse of Edmonton taking silver in the women’s 200 breaststroke and bronze medals going to Tanya Hunks in the women’s 200 butterfly and world champion Brent Hayden of Mission, B.C., in the 100 freestyle. It was Hunks’ third medal of the competition.
Hayden clocked 49.09 seconds in the final after a 48.99 clocking in the preliminaries. Jason Lezak of the U.S., won the final in 48.84 with Dominik Meichtry of Switzerland second in 49.03. Hayden was pleased to be pain free after struggling with worrisome back problems this spring.
‘’There was a lot of positive elements in my racing this weekend’’ said Hayden. ‘’The big one is that I raced through the 50 and 100 freestyles without feeling any back pain at all. And I was pleased to have such a great swim in the 100 prelims this morning. I just would have liked to have done better in the final but I lost my focus a little bit.’’
Brian Johns of Richmond, B.C., was fourth in the 100 backstroke, Stefan Hirniak of Victoria fifth in the 200 butterfly and Martha McCabe sixth in the 200 breaststroke.