Canadians get feet wet at world short-course


DOHA, Qatar – Three Canadians had top-16 finishes as the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) got underway Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.

Hilary Caldwell of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria was the top Canadian on Day 1 of the five-day world short-course championships. Caldwell finished 14th in the women’s 100-m backstroke in a personal best time 57.88.

“It’s my first worlds short course and it’s my best time by a little. I would have liked to make finals but it is a best time and bodes well for my 200,” said Caldwell, 23.

The holder of 200-m bronze medals in from the long-course 2013 FINA World Championships and 2014 Commonwealth Games will turn her focus to the longer distance on Friday.

In the men’s 100-m backstroke, Calgary’s Russell Wood finished 15th at 51.59. The 20-year-old from the University of Calgary Swim Club established a new personal best of 51.36 in the morning heats.

“I am so excited to be out here. It’s the world championships and I made the semifinals,” Wood said. “I did a best time this morning and even though I was a bit slower tonight it’s still better than my (previous) best ever. I’m excited and it’s getting there. ”

Rounding out Canada’s second swims was Caldwell’s 2012 Olympic teammate Tera Van Beilen. The High Performance Centre – Vancouver swimmer went 31.03 in her semifinal, finishing 16th. The 21-year-old shaved 0.01 off her personal best with a heat swim of 30.71 in the morning’s first female event.

“It was exciting to be in the first women’s race of the world championships,” said Van Beilen.
The Commonwealth Games relay medallist will swim the 100 on Friday.

“I did my best time this morning so I would like to have been a bit faster tonight. I am looking forward to the 100 in two days.”

Scott Harrigan
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