swim canada-2

December 12, 2012, ISTANBUL – Katerine Savard was Canada’s brightest star on the opening day of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Istanbul.

The 2012 Olympian from Pont-Rouge, Que., finished sixth in the women’s 200-metre butterfly with a time of 2:06.56. She was in second place after 100 metres before falling back in the final 100.

“My (strength) is to start the first 100-metre sprint because I am a sprinter. The second part of my 200 is always hard but I’m going to work on that,” the 19-year-old said.

A repeat of her 2:05.54 from the morning heats would have been good for fifth place in the race, which saw Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu set a new championship record at 2:02.20.

“It was kind of a hard race tonight. I did pretty good this morning but tonight I was a little bit tired after my two races this morning,” Savard said.

Canada has 13 swimmers competing at the world short-course championships, which run through Sunday.

Tera Van Beilen also had a second swim on Wednesdsay. The Oakville, Ont., native turned in a time of 30.99 in her women’s 50-m breaststroke semifinal to solidify a 16th-place finish. Van Beilen had qualified in 14th place with a heat time of 30.98, setting a personal bestalongside American world-record holder Jessica Hardy in her heat. Hardy settled for third in the final, behind a new championship record of 29.51 from Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte and second-place finisher Alia Atkinson of Jamaica (29.62)

“It’s my first actual world-class race since the Olympics so it’s good to get that feeling again and know what it’s like to race again,” said Van Beilen, 19. “I’m excited for the rest of the week and swimming the 100 and the 200.”

Martha McCabe of Toronto also swam the 50-m breaststroke and finished 19th. After a three-way tie for 17th at 31.17, she turned in a 31.16 in a swim-off.

Canada appeared to qualify for another final, finishing seventh in the men’s 4×100-m freestyle relay heats. But the team of Tommy Gossland, Jake Tapp, Coleman Allen and Luke Peddie was disqualified.

Allen had a strong international debut, swimming personal bests of 52.60 in the 100-m butterfly and 1:46.92 in the 200-m freestyle. The Barrie, Ont., native ranked 26th in the freestyle and 31st in the fly.

Noemie Thomas finished a solid 15th with a 2:09.59 in the 200-m fly. The 16-year-old from Richmond, B.C., is competing in her first senior international meet.

Also making his international debut was Andrew Poznikoff of Drumheller, Alta., who swam a 1:00.27 in the men’s 100-m breaststroke, good for 34th place. Warren Barnes of Pickering, Ont., took 38th at 1:00.43.

Other men’s performances saw Zack Chetrat of Oakville finish 36th in 100-m butterfly with a personal best of 53.23

Tapp (Langley, B.C.) was 38th (54.96) in 100-m backstroke and Gossland (Nanaimo, B.C.) was 39th in 200-m freestyle (1:49.43).

Meanwhile, Chantal van Landeghem (Winnipeg, Man.) came 30th in the women’s 100-m backstroke at 1:01.08

The women’s 4×200-metre freestyle relay team of Savard, van Landeghem, Thomas and Heather MacLean (Etobicoke, Ont.) finished up the morning with a 10th place finish at 8:04.46.

American Ryan Lochte continued to dominate, winning his record 15th and 16th gold medals in championship history.