london 2012

LONDON (July 31, 2012) – Canadian swimming star Brent Hayden of Mission, B.C., qualified for his first Olympic final in the men’s 100-metre freestyle on Tuesday evening.

Hayden clocked 48.21 seconds in the semifinal to finish fourth in his heat and qualify sixth overall for Wednesday night’s final. James Magnussen of Australia was the fastest qualifier in 47.63, Nathan Adrian of the U.S., second in 47.97 and Hanser Garcia of Cuba third in 48.04.

”That hurt a lot,” said Hayden, the 2007 world champion, competing at his third Olympic Games. ”I know technically where I have room for improvement. I was a little too shallow coming off the wall so I had to nail that incoming wave and build up my speed a little bit more than I wanted to.”

Brent Hayden 1
Brent Hayden of Mission, BC qualifies 6th for the 100m freestyle final at the 2012 Olympic Games (Photo: Ian Macnicol/Swimming Canada)

Canada’s two other semifinalists did not advance.

In the women’s 200 butterfly, Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge, Que., ranked 12th overall clocking 2:08.00.

”I raced well and I fought hard,” said Lacroix, also an Olympian in 2008. ”I feel I had the potential to make the final tonight but unfortunately the time wasn’t there. Racing in lane eight was good for me because it allowed me to stay focused on my race.”

In the men’s 200 breaststroke, Scott Dickens of Burlington, Ont., ranked 16th in 2:11.71.

”I just didn’t have that same spark going out in the first 100,” said Dickens, 27, who bettered his personal best by 1.7 seconds in the prelims. ”I made two second swims in individual events this year and in 2004 I swam once. I call this a big success.”

Canadians in action in Wednesday’s preliminaries are: Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., in the 100 freestyle, Tera Van Beilen of Oakville, Ont., and world championship bronze medallist Martha McCabe of Toronto in the 200 breaststroke and the women’s 4X200 freestyle relay.

For the men, it is Tobias Oriwol of Toronto in the 200 backstroke and Andrew Ford of Guelph, Ont., in the 200 IM.