GLASGOW, Scotland – Ryan Cochrane closed out his Commonwealth Games career by repeating as a double gold medallist to punctuate a four-medal finish for Canadian swimmers.
Cochrane won the men’s 1500-metre freestyle in 14:44.03, nearly five seconds ahead of Australian Mack Horton, adding the 1,500 to his 400-m gold. The 25-year-old from the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria also won both gold medals at the 2010 Games in Delhi.
“Consistency is always wanting to be the best in the world. I think I’ve been chasing that dream for a lot of years and I think I’ve been really proud of my results here to show that I can keep getting better even in my mid-20s,” the two-time Olympic medallist said.
It was an historic medal for Canada: the country’s 100th gold in Commonwealth Games history. Cochrane, who plans to retire after the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, said he wanted to go out on top at his last Commonwealth Games.
“I used knowing that this was my last Commonwealth Games as a huge motivator going into the race. When it started to get hard at about 1,200 metres I kept telling myself, ‘This is one of your last chances to have a kick at this race.’ It can be really hard and it can be shocking when you can count down the races you have left, but with that being said I think I used it to my benefit this time,” Cochrane said.
Canada took three other medals on the final day of swimming competition.
Aurelie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., won Canada’s first Para-swimming medal of the competition. She took bronze in the women’s 200-m individual medley SM10 with a time of 2:32.09, her second personal best of the day.
National team rookie Brooklynn Snodgrass of Calgary won a bronze medal in the women’s 50-m backstroke by the narrowest of margins. Her time of 27.97, a new Canadian record, earned her a medal by just 0.01.
“I felt really good in warmup so I knew I was going to have a good 50. I didn’t know where that was going to place me but I’m more than happy with the result,” the 20-year-old said. “If you have a lane you have a chance so I’ve always had that mentality. I was confident in my ability to race. I’m a racer and that’s what I just did there and I got a good result.”
The women’s 4×100-m medley relay team capped the evening with a bronze medal to bring Canada’s total to 11. The team of Sinead Russell, Tera Van Beilen, Katerine Savard and Sandrine Mainville combined for a time of 4:00.57.
Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson pointed out that the 11-medal total was one more than Canada won in the pool at the 2010 Games in Delhi.
“We also had 50 finalists in all, again more than Delhi with a younger team, so that goes to show what we said before the competition started about the athletes that are going to be here in 2016, 2018 and 2020,” Atkinson said.
“Tonight what can we say? Ryan Cochrane, double gold medallist, great achievement. Brooklyn Snodgrass getting on the wall for the bronze medal. Aurelie Rivard in the S10 200 IM and finishing the night off with our fourth medal of the evening in the women’s 4×100 medley relay meant that it was the best night of the meet for the team and we finished off strong.”
The men’s medley relay just missed adding another medal, as Russell Wood, Richard Funk, Evan White and Yuri Kisil finished fourth at 3:36.61.
Meanwhile, Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke, Ont., was fifth in the women’s 400-m freestyle at 4:06.53. Montreal’s Sam Cheverton was eighth in 4:09.85.
Complete results: http://results.glasgow2014.com/