By Nathan White
KAZAN, Russia – Victoria’s Ryan Cochrane just missed the final in the men’s 800-m freestyle Tuesday at FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
Cochrane’s heat time of 7:50.28 left him in 10th position, 0.58 out of the top eight. He finished second behind defending champion Sun Yang in his heat and sat third entering the final heat. But when a surprising seven swimmers went under 7:50 in that heat, Cochrane was left on the outside looking in.
It was a tough break for Canada’s all-time medal leader, ending his streak of world championship medals in the 800 at three.
“The distance events are getting faster and faster. The heats felt more like a semifinal. I thought I did enough to get into the final and I’m obviously disappointed,” Cochrane said.
Cochrane already has a 400-m bronze to his credit at this meet, Canada’s first ever in that event. He will now turn his focus to the 1,500, with heats set for Saturday in the longest distance. Cochrane holds two Olympic and three world championship medals in the 1,500, including silver at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 worlds.
“World championships and Olympic Games are eight days of competition. Sometimes you’re on a high, sometimes you roll with the punches. Today is one of those days for the team,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson. “Everybody is going to work together and continue doing all the good things that we’ve been doing since Pan Am Games all the way through this meet.”
In other morning swims, Edmonton’s Richard Funk finished 20th in the men’s 50-m breaststroke with a heat time of 27.71 Tuesday, just 0.06 off his personal best. Cameron Van Der Burgh of South Africa set a world record of 26.62 in the heat before Funk’s.
In women’s 200-m freestyle, Emily Overholt of West Vancouver finished 21st (1:59.61) and Montreal’s Katerine Savard 26th (2:00.30).
Canada will be back in action in Wednesday’s heats. Competitors to watch include Pan Am Games gold medallist Audrey Lacroix in the women’s 200-m butterfly. Santo Condorelli, meanwhile, goes into the men’s 100-m freestyle with the fastest time in the world this year (47.98).
Sportsnet will have daily televised coverage of finals beginning Sunday at 11 p.m. ET on Sportsnet One.
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