Canadians in Qatar to compete for short-course gold


(ISN) – DOHA, QATAR – A “small yet quality” Team Canada will take on the best in the world as the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) open Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.

Two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria, headlines the 10-member team. Cochrane, who was recently named Swimming Canada’s OMEGA Male Swimmer of the Year for 2014, will be joined by HPC-Victoria teammate and multiple international medallist Hilary Caldwell. Their coach Randy Bennett will serve as head coach, with National Development Coach Ken McKinnon working alongside him as a team coach.


Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson sees the meet as valuable preparation for next year’s Pan Am Games in Toronto and long-course FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

“We have a great opportunity from our small yet quality team to continue to race against the best in the world,” said Atkinson. “We are focused on individual events only and this will give all a great chance to test out their warm up strategies, preparation, racing tactics and swim down recovery process.”

Cochrane enters his first world short-course championships with the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the 1,500-m freestyle. His 14:35.97 was good for a silver medal at last month’s FINA/Mastbank World Cup stop in Singapore.

Other Olympians on the two-man, eight-woman Team Canada include Pont-Rouge, Que., butterflyers Katerine Savard and Audrey Lacroix, both gold medallists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The versatile Emily Overholt of the High Performance Centre – Vancouver will compete in her first senior world championships less than two months after her 17th birthday. Meanwhile 20-year-old breaststroker Kierra Smith of Kelowna, B.C., will join the team in the midst of a strong start to the NCAA season with Minnesota.

“This team will be focused on best performances in a prepared state, that is, tapered and shaved for a FINA World Championships. This fits our Swimming Canada philosophy very well in preparing for the meets that count. This World Championships in Doha, the Canadian Swimming Trials in April, then the summer performances are when it counts,” Atkinson said.


2014 FINA World Championships (25m)


Name   Club
Cochrane Ryan Island Swimming/HPC-Victoria
Wood Russell University of Calgary Swim Club
Caldwell Hilary Pacific Sea Wolves/HPC-Victoria
Cantin Genevieve Laval (Que.) Rouge et Or
Lacroix Audrey PPO (Montreal)
McCabe Martha Toronto Swim Club/HPC-Ontario
Overholt Emily West Vancouver Otters/Janusz Kaczmarek
Savard Katerine CAMO (Montreal)
Smith Kierra Liquid Lightning (West Kelowna, B.C.) Swim Club
Van Beilen Tera UBC Dolphins/HPC-Vancouver
Team Leader John Atkinson  
Head Coach Randy Bennett  
Team Coach Ken McKinnon  
Race Analysis Graham Olson  
RMT Ron Castro  
RMT Brian Beckwith  
Team Manager Janice Hanan