KAZAN, Russia (Courtesy Swimming Canada) – The podium wasjust a fingertip away for Canada in the third day of swimmingcompetition at the Summer Universiade, on Friday.
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Three Canadians finished an agonizing fourth in final events atthe Aquatic Palace, leaving the team without a medal for the firsttime since the FISU swim meet started on Wednesday.
On a positivenote, Zack Chetrat of Oakville, Ont., qualified forSaturday’s final in the men’s 200-metre butterfly.
Swimming Canada has sent a 38-member team (19 men and 19 women)to Kazan. The swimming finals run through July 17 and can be viewedat www.fisu.tv.
Eric Hedlin, a 20-year-old who trains at the Victoria Academy ofSwimming, was fourth in the 1,500-metre freestyle, finishing in 15minutes, 11.33 seconds. The race was won by Sean Ryan of the UnitedStates in 14:47.33.
Tera Van Beilen of Oakville was second after the first 50 metresof the women’s 100-breaststroke but faded to finish .22 backof third-place finisher Laura Sogar of the U.S. Russia’sJulia Efimova won the race in a Universiade record time of1:05.48.
Being close wasn’t good enough for Van Beilen, who won twoof the three silver medals Canada collected at the pool at the 2011Universiade in Shenzhen, China, including in the 100 breast.
“I’m not going to lie, I was pretty mad,” saidthe 20-year-old who was timed in 1:08.03. “That was an epicfail.
“I’m not going to dwell on it. That’s justpart of swimming. You have good ones and you have bad ones. Youhave to get your mind back to the right place. I will try not tolet it stick in my head.”
Sandrine Mainville of Boucherville, Que., was a little morepositive about her fourth in the 100-metre freestyle. She wassatisfied with her time of 54.87 seconds.
“I did a best time, so I am very happy about that,”said the 21-year-old who was part of Canada’s 4×100-metrefreestyle relay team which won a bronze medal on Wednesday’sopening night.
“Tonight I was not nervous. I was not looking for a medal.I know when I think about that I’m too nervous.”
Mainville is one of 14 Canadian swimmers in Kazan who will alsocompete in the FINA World Championships later this month inBarcelona, Spain.
Chetrat’s time of 1:59.44 earned him the final spot in the200-fly. He believes he can challenge for the podium Saturday.Bence Biczo of Hungary had the fastest qualifying time of1:57.83.
“I feel like there is still more in the tank,” saidChetrat. “I’ve tried to improve on the littlethings.
“My time isn’t what I want it to be. Thatdoesn’t mean I can’t take away some things from eachrace. It’s still heading in the right direction.”
David Sharpe of Halifax failed to qualify, finishing sixth inhis semifinal heat in a time of 1:59.99.
Van Beilen, who also will race at the world championships, isalso taking a positive attitude into Saturday’s 200-metrebreaststroke preliminaries.
“I really hate losing,” she said. “NowI’m more fired up not to lose again.”
Several other swimmers failed to advance to the final in theirevents.
Richard Funk, 20, of Edmonton was seventh, 2:14.99, in hissemifinal heat of the 200-metre breaststroke. In the women’s200 individual medley, Paige Shultz, 21, of Toronto was fifth inher heat in 2:15.54, while Katie Caldwell, 19, of White Rock, B.C.,was eighth in 2:21.09.
In the 100-metre backstroke both Brooklyn Snodgrass, 19, ofCalgary (1:02.40) and Gabrielle Soucisse, 22, Notre-Dame DeI’Ile-Perrot, Que. (1:02.32) missed the final eight.
Canada’s other swimming medal of the meet is a silver wonby Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., in the 50-metre butterfly.The 20-year-old will race the 100-metre butterfly preliminariesSaturday. She is currently ranked second in the world at thatdistance.
Chetrat said not winning a medal Friday didn’t dampen theteam’s spirit.
“We had great momentum the first day of the meet andwe’ve really built on that,” he said.
“Tonight it didn’t go as well as we had hoped in acouple of races but it did in a couple of others. I’mjust trying to build on the overall things of the evening and willput those into action tomorrow night.”