GLASGOW, Scotland – Ryan Cochrane has a chance to repeat as double gold medallist, while Para-swimmer Aurelie Rivard and Canada’s medley relays could also add to the medal haul at the Commonwealth Games.
Cochrane enters tonight’s men’s 1,500-metre freestyle final with the fastest heat time at 15:03.29. The High Performance Centre – Victoria swimmer won the 1,500 and 400 at the 2010 Games in Delhi, and is already halfway to repeating that double after winning the 400 Thursday.
Canada has won at least one medal each of the first five days of swimming competition for a total of seven, including three gold. The last night of swimming finals get underway at 2 p.m. ET, with live coverage on cbcsports.ca/glasgow2014 and daily highlight shows being broadcast on CBC TV.
“I’m just excited to have that opportunity. I was really happy with my results in the 400 so I think that’s buoyed my confidence for this race,” Cochrane said.
The 25-year-old is a two-time Olympic medallist in the distance and has faster times in mind. His personal best was his silver-medal performance from 2012 in London (14:39.63), which is faster than the 20-year-old Commonwealth Games record set by Australian Kieren Perkins (14:41.66). The overall record among Commonwealth countries belongs to Australian legend Grant Hackett, who swam a time of 14:34.56 at the 2001 world championships.
“One more swim, so I’d like to be close or on my best time. I think I’d be really happy with getting close to the Commonwealth record,” Cochrane said.
“The goal is always to go a best time and get on the top of the podium but with that said I think it’s about racing well, not making any mistakes in my racing and being able to touch the wall and have a race I’m really proud of. That might mean a best time, that might mean making it to the podium but I think the event is getting pushed faster and faster with the younger athletes and I think that’s really exciting to be part of that.”
Rivard, meanwhile, is looking for Canada’s first medal in the Para-swimming events. She swam a personal best of 2:33.46 in the 200-m individual medley S10 heats, good for second seed. The St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., native will be joined by Katarina Roxon of St. John’s, N.L., who was fifth at 2:45.98, also a personal best.
“I’m really happy about that,” Rivard said. “It was a best time, which I was not expecting this morning and it just gives me confidence for tonight so I’m really excited.”
The men’s and women’s medley relays both moved through the morning heats into tonight’s finals. The men’s team of Russell Wood, Richard Funk, Coleman Allen and Yuri Kisil had the second-fastest heat time of 3:37.71, while the women (Sinead Russell, Kierra Smith, Audrey Lacroix, Michelle Williams) sit third at 4:07.13.
Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke, Ont., was back in the pool for the women’s 400-m freestyle fresh off Monday’s 800-m bronze medal. She advanced to tonight’s final in fourth at 4:08.84. Montreal’s Sam Cheverton (7th, 4:09.88) also moved on.
“I’m happy with the time. I felt pretty strong. It takes a little bit of effort to come back on morning six after the 800 but I’m happily surprised with the way I felt and I think I’m ready for tonight,” MacLean said “I’ve got one last swim in me and I’m excited to race some of the best in the world tonight.”
Also swimming tonight will be Calgary’s Brooklynn Snodgrass. Her semifinal time of 28.25 was fourth fastest in Monday’s 50-m backstroke semifinals.
With a heat swim of 2:01.28 in the morning, Evan White of Oakville, Ont., just missed the men’s 200-m individual medley final by 0.31.
Complete results: http://results.glasgow2014.com/schedule.html