Tough semis for Dickens and Savard

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LONDON – Scott Dickens of Burlington, Ont., and Katerine Savard of Cap-Rouge, Que., fell short in their bids to reach finals on Saturday in swimming action at the Olympic Games.

In the men’s 100 breaststroke semifinal, Dickens had a solid first length but fell behind following the turn and wound up eighth in his heat and 16th overall clocking 1:00.16. The fastest eight times overall advanced to Sunday’s final.

In the morning prelims, Dickens had clocked the seventh fastest time overall at 59.85 which lowered his Canadian record.

”I thought I was swimming a lot better in the first 50,” said Dickens, 27, a 2004 Olympian. ”It’s a hard race to judge. I’m still really happy with my performance. I came back to the Olympics after eight years, broke the Canadian record, went under a minute for the first time and that’s something to be proud of.”

It was a similar story in the women’s 100 butterfly, as Savard ranked eighth in her semifinal clocking 59.22 for 16th overall. Savard initially ranked 17th in the preliminaries, but the withdrawal of a Dutch swimmer for the final bumped her up a spot and into the semi.

”I didn’t find out about the withdrawal until it was too late to prepare properly for it,” said Savard. ”Still I was pleased to get a second swim. I can’t explain the time but I haven’t had best times since January so it’s something I need to look at.”

Canadians in action on Sunday are: Sinead Russell of Burlington, Ont., and Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., in the 100 backstroke (both in the same heat), Jillian Tyler of Calgary and Tera Van Beilen of Oakville, Ont., in the 100 breaststroke and Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke and Savannah King of Victoria in the 400 freestyle (also in the same heat) for the women.

For the men, it’s Blake Worsley of Victoria in the 200 freestyle, Charles Francis of Cowansville, Que., in the 100 backstroke and the 4X100 freestyle relay.

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