GOLD COAST, Australia – It was a night of near misses for Canada at the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia.
Canadians were in the mix in several close races Saturday, coming away with three fourth-place and three fifth-place finishes.
Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke, Ont., was fourth in the women’s 400-m freestyle. Her time of 4:05.91 was 0.58 seconds off bronze in a race that saw American Katie Ledecky set a new world record of 3:58.37.
“I don’t mind coming fourth. It’s a great field and I had an opportunity to be on the podium, that’s not what stings the most,” said MacLean, a finalist in the distance at the 2012 Olympics in London, where she posted her best time of 4:05.06. “To go 4:05 is my second fastest ever so I can’t be too discouraged, but training has been going really well lately so I really thought I had it in me tonight. Tomorrow I still have one more race left (the 1,500-m freestyle) to give it all I’ve got.”
Canada had another near-miss when Ryan Cochrane of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria came fourth in the men’s 400 free in a time of 3:45.99.
“Coming in here I didn’t really know what to expect to be honest. The 1,500 (on Thursday) was a little hard. That felt a lot better. I would be happy with a :45 most years so it’s nice that I’m disappointed with a :45 and it’s my second swim in six weeks,” said Cochrane, who won gold in the distance at Commonwealth Games last month.
He will be back in the pool Sunday looking to add an 800-m freestyle medal to the silver he won in Thursday’s 1,500.
The women’s 4×100-m freestyle relay also came fourth, as the team of Chantal Van Landeghem, Victoria Poon, Michelle Williams and Alyson Ackman combined for a time of 3:39.78. Winnipeg native Van Landeghem, who trains at the High Performance Centre – Ontario, led off with a personal best 54.43.
Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que., was closest to a medal by time, coming just 0.13 seconds from bronze in the women’s 100-m butterfly but settling for fifth in 57.95. Fellow Pont-Rouge native Audrey Lacroix was eighth at 58.82.
Also coming fifth was Hilary Caldwell of the High Performance Centre – Victoria, who swam a 2:09.02 in the women’s 200-m backstroke. Australian Belinda Hocking set a new meet record of 2:07.49 to win the race. Dominique Bouchard of Oakville, Ont., came sixth in a lifetime best time of 2:09.59. Also posting a personal best in the event was Calgary’s Brooklynn Snodgrass, who finished 10th with a 2:09.76 in the B final.
The men’s 4×100-m freestyle relay capped the evening with another fifth-place effort. Yuri Kisil, Luke Peddie, Kyle Troskot and Coleman Allen combined for a time of 3:19.26. Kisil shaved 0.01 off his personal best from last month’s Commonwealth Games with a leadoff leg of 49.26.
Canada is up against 14 other countries at the championships, which wrap up Sunday. Nearly 300 swimmers are in action, including Pan Pacific charter nations Australia, USA and Japan.
Complete results available at: http://liveresults.swimming.org.au/sal/2014PP/