GLASGOW, Scotland – Two Canadian butterflyers from Pont-Rouge, Que., will be swimming for medals tonight at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Katerine Savard, who swims for CAMO Montreal, enters the 100-m butterfly final after posting the second-fastest semifinal time Thursday at 57.83. Audrey Lacroix of Montreal’s PPO club, meanwhile, enters seventh at 58.69.
Finals get underway at 2 p.m.
Savard, who set Victoria’s Saanich Commonwealth Pool on fire with a Canadian record of 57.27 at Canadian Swimming Trials in April, has her sights set on a medal and a new Commonwealth Games record. Australia’s Jessicah Schipper set the meet mark of 57.48 at the 2006 Games in Melbourne, Australia.
“I was hoping to be a little faster (in the semifinals). I had the competition record in my head, which I think is possible,” said Savard, 21. “Competing against the top girls is going to be a great race and I’m going to give it everything I have to get on the podium.”
The veteran Lacroix, meanwhile, was just 0.04 off her lifetime best in the semis, and the 30-year-old thinks a new personal mark is within her grasp.
“My goals are a little more modest,” said Lacroix, who won a silver medal in the 200 at the 2010 Games in Delhi. “I think it’s possible but Katerine definitely has the advantage in this race and I think she has a chance to win us a medal.”
Luke Reilly of the High Performance Centre – Vancouver moved through in seventh position with a swim of 4:18.49 in the men’s 400-m individual medley Friday.
“This is my first senior international Games, so I came in there and just wanted to learn to manage the different emotions and manage the different environment,” said Reilly, 18. “My goal was to make a final and see how fast I can go at night. It looks like I set it up pretty well in the morning so I’m very excited.”
He will join his HPC-Vancouver teammate Tera Van Beilen, who sits third in the 50-m breaststroke after a semifinal swim of 30.74 Thursday, while Russell Wood of Calgary qualified seventh in the men’s 100-m backstroke at 54.45. On the para side, Calgary’s Morgan Bird enters tonight’s women’s 100-m freestyle S8 final in fourth spot after a heat swim of 1:10.65, just 0.11 behind Australia’s Lakeisha Patterson.
The men’s 4×100-m freestyle relay team of Yuri Kisil, Coleman Allen, Wood and Evan White advanced in fifth spot with a heat swim of 3:20.49 Friday. Kisil, 17, led off with a personal best of 49.52.
Australia enters tonight’s final as top seed at 3:16.91, followed by England at 3:18.83. The Canadian foursome will be in the thick of the medal hunt, with less than a second separating them from third-place Scotland (3:19.60) and fourth-place South Africa (3:19.97), while New Zealand (3:20.94) was close behind in sixth.
Meanwhile, several Canadians advanced to tonight’s semifinals through the morning heats.
Sinead Russell was tops among three Canadian women moving on in the 100-m backstroke. Russell’s time of 1:00.15 was third-fastest in the heats, while Calgary’s Brooklynn Snodgrass was fifth at 1:00.70 and Hilary Caldwell of the High Performance Centre – Victoria 10th at 1:01.10.
Canada also had three women advance in the 50-m freestyle, led by Montreal’s Victoria Poon in eighth at 25.38. Michelle Williams of the High Performance Centre – Ontario enters tonight’s semifinal in ninth after a personal best of 25.48, with Sandrine Mainville of Montreal 10th at 25.62.
On the men’s side, Edmonton’s Richard Funk moved on in the 100-m breaststroke with a heat time of 1:01.25, good for fifth.
Ryan Cochrane of the High Performance Centre – Victoria narrowly missed the semifinal in the men’s 200-m freestyle. Cochrane finished in a three-way tie for eighth at 1:48.98, but with no semifinals in 200-m events at Commonwealth Games, was forced to swim off for a spot in the final. England’s Nick Grainger claimed the spot with a swim-off time of 1:48.29, ahead of Cochrane and Ieuan Lloyd of Wales.
Cochrane, who repeated as gold medallist in the 400 Thursday, said he was feeling the pain in his fourth hard race in roughly 24 hours.
“I think I would have been OK if I hadn’t swam yesterday in two events,” he said. “But it’s a good practice and I haven’t had to do this before. You never know when this could happen (again) so it’s a good training effect.
The 25-year-old now shifts his focus to his marquee event, the 1,500, where he will look to defend his gold medal beginning with prelims Monday.
“Two days off will be nice and then I think it will be a really exciting race. There’s a lot of young talent coming up in the world and I think that will really push the event faster,” he said.