Canadian relay strikes gold Down Under

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Canada won the gold medal Saturday in the women’s 4×200-m freestyle relay and added a bronze in the men’s relay at the 2014 Victoria Open Championships.

Emily Overholt of West Vancouver, Lili Margitai of Edmonton, Frédérique Cigna of Montreal and Kennedy Goss of Toronto clocked eight minutes and 11.34 seconds for the victory. They finished more than three seconds ahead of a second-place foursome from Australia.

‘’We were seeded first so we knew we had a chance at winning,’’ said Cigna. ‘’All the girls swam really well. Even though we are in the midst of some hard training there is an adrenaline rush when you compete that can make you go faster than you expect.’’

In the same race, Paige Kremer and Jacomie Strydom of Edmonton, Sophie Marois of St-Eustache, Que., and Haley Black of Prince George, B.C., were fourth.

In the men’s 4×200-m relay, Australian clubs were 1-2 with the Canadians just over a second out from second place. The Canadian swimmers were Yvon Gallant of Montreal, Liam Desjarlais of Prévost, Que., Mitchel Ferraro of Uxbridge, Ont., and Oliver Straszynski of Toronto.

‘’Yvon had a great lead-off improving his personal best and that really fired us up,’’ said Straszynski. ‘’We all knew we had to step it up at that point.’’

Desjarlais and Gallant were also fifth and seventh in the 800-m freestyle.

In women’s individual races, Kremer was sixth in the 50-m freestyle while Cigna, Strydom and Margitai took positions seven through nine in the 100-m butterfly. Cigna and Strydom both set personal bests.

The 15-member Canadian national junior team is concluding a three-week camp at this competition.

‘’It’s been an amazing experience,’’ said Straszynski. ‘’The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I have to not only keep training hard but train smart as well. We’ve really learned some great things.

Competition continues through to Sunday.

Full results on-line at: http://liveresults.swimming.org.au/VIC/2014VicOpenChamps/

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