Sixteen-year-old swims Canadian record twice in one day

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ISTANBUL – It was a big day for little Noemie Thomas at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Istanbul Thursday.

The five-foot-four 16-year-old from Richmond, B.C., set a new Canadian record of 25.76 in the 50-metre butterfly heats, then matched that time in the semifinals to advance to Friday’s final.

“To repeat that exactly is pretty good.

Maybe I would have liked to go a little bit better,” Thomas said. “I felt like my start, I was one stroke over what I usually do in the first 25 (metres) of my race. If I just lengthen out my strokes in the first 25, then I think I can get down to (a faster time).”

The world short-course championships are the first senior international meet for Thomas, who bested Victoria Poon’s three-year-old Canadian record of 25.87. That was good for the top overall time in the heats. She followed up with the fourth-best time in the semifinals and will have a chance at a medal for Canada at 12:43 p.m. ET Friday.

“I’m pretty excited about the finals. The goal coming in was just to have fun and see where I was at in my training,” Thomas said. “I’ve been to the junior worlds and everything and it’s similar but in its own ways (world short course) is different. Especially the (amount of) people here and the atmosphere was pretty nice. It was cool to walk through those doors.”

Luke Peddie also won a heat for Canada on Thursday morning, but his personal best of 21.98 left him 0.2 seconds outside the semifinal qualifiers in 22nd.

Meanwhile, Chantal van Landeghem was 18th in the 100-m freestyle heats with a time of 54.56 and was scratched into the semifinal. She bested that time with a 54.16, good for 14th place.

“It felt pretty good, I’m happy with how it went. It was faster than this morning and it’s a good time for right now in the season,” van Landeghem said. “I was so excited when I found out (I was in the semifinal) so it was really easy to prepare because I really wanted to swim at night. I just went over my race plan and made sure to have a good warmup and it was good.”

She also posted a time of 1:03.93 in the 100-m individual medley, finishing 33rd.

Canada has 13 swimmers competing at the world short-course championships, which run through Sunday. Live meet results are available at http://www.omegatiming.com. Swimming Canada has also created a list of team members using Twitter during the meet at www.twitter.com/SwimmingCanada/Istanbul2012

In other morning results, Heather MacLean was 22nd in the 100-m freestyle with a time of 54.60, Katerine Savard posted a 26.74 in the 50-m butterfly, finishing 23rd, and Tommy Gossland swam the 50-m freestyle in 22.43, taking 38th place. Gossland also swam in the men’s 4×200-m freestyle relay, along with Coleman Allen, Zack Chetrat, and Peddie. The men finished 10th with a time of 7:13.31.

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