Strong finish in 10-km offers peek into the future for Dusablon

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KAZAN, Russia – There was a peek at the future on Wednesday’s last day of the swim competition at the 2013 Summer Universiade.

Jade Dusablon, a 19-year-old from Quebec City, dealt with warm water temperatures and competitors with more experience to place eighth in the 10-kilometre open water swim. Dusablon finished the gruelling race in two hours, six minutes, 53.8 seconds.

“I gave all what I got,” said Dusablon. “It was a good race.”

Heather Maitland, 24, of Toronto was 14th in 2:14.48.1. American Ashley Twickell took gold in 2:05.00.9.

In the men’s race, Aimeson King, 22, of Oakville, Ont, was 17th in 1:58.43.6. Xavier Desharnais, 23, of Sherbrooke, Que., was 18th in 1:58.53.8. The race was won by Italy’s Matteo Furlan in 1:56.12.4.

Swimming Canada sent a 38-member team (19 men and 19 women) to Kazan. Results are posted at http://kazan2013.ru.

The open water swim was held at the Kazan Rowing Centre, located on the bank of Lake Middle Kaban, and was the final event in the Universiade swimming competition. The race consisted of four laps with water temperatures rising to 29 C in some parts.

For Dusablon, dealing with the conditions was a learning experience.

“It’s going to help me in the future,” she said.

“It’s nice to race with the older girls. I know some of them went to the Olympics. It gives me a lot of experience.”

King said the conditions were just part of the battle in the men’s race.

“It was a pretty vicious race,” he said. “There were a couple of people that were fighting a lot. We got into a few scuffles.

“It was a very physical race that took a lot out of me. I didn’t quite place as high as I was hoping.”

Of the 32 men who started the race, 29 finished. Among the women, 17 of 18 finished.

King was frustrated with his result.

“I trained really hard for this race,” he said. “I would have liked to have more in me to give at the end.

“I wanted to finish stronger. You learn from every single race. I can take something from this race and hopefully move forward, stronger into the rest of the races this summer.”

Canada won five swimming medals during the eight-day competition. Canadians also had 24 swims in individual final events and 35 in semifinals.

Katerine Savard, 20, of Pont-Rouge, Que., led the team with a gold in the 100-m butterfly _ where she set a Universiade record _ and silver in the 50 fly, where she broke her own Canadian record. Eric Hedlin won bronze in the 800-m freestyle. Canada also won bronze in the women’s 4×100 and 4×200-m freestyle relay.

Brittany MacLean, 19, of Etobicoke, Ont., was a member of both bronze-medal relay teams and finished fourth in the 400-m and 200-m freestyle.

Canada won three silver medals in the pool at the 2001 Universiade in Schenzhen, China.

The last Canadian to win three individual medals at a Universiade was Alex Baumann who had two golds (200 and 400 IM) and a bronze (200 freestyle) in 1983 in Edmonton.

Prior to the meet team leader Lance Cansdale, head coach of the Dalhousie University swim team, said one of the goals in Kazan was to improve on the times the swimmers recorded to qualify for the Universiade team. The meet was also the first major international competition for many of the young swimmers, meaning it would be their first experience of swimming preliminaries, semifinals and finals.

With the Universiade ended, 14 swimmers will leave Kazan and join the rest of the Canadian team preparing for the FINA World Championships which begin later this month in Barcelona, Spain.

Alec Page, who finished fourth in the 400-m individual medley Tuesday, said the Universiade was a great training event for the World Championships.

“It kind of gave you an idea what to expect racing,” said the 19-year-old from Cortes Island, B.C.. “It gives you a better opportunity to race.

“Barcelona is  going to be a higher class of meet. Here we got the experience. It’s a huge confidence booster.”

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