It was a Sunday of reclamation for Canadian swimmers in Russia.
Ryan Cochrane, the usually dependable bet for a distance medal took bronze in the 1500m freestyle, responding well to missing the 800m final earlier this week. And Emily Overholt, the teenager who lost Pan Am gold and a national record to a rare disqualification, today produced a resounding 400 IM bronze, over three-seconds under the former Canadian mark.
With a final time of 14:51.08 Cochrane led for the first quarter of the race, then gave up the lead before 500 metres to Italy’s eventual winner Gregorio Paltrinieri who swam 14:39.67. American Connor Jaeger was second (14:41.20). Chinese world record holder Sun Yang qualified third, but did not swim the final.
Cochrane now has four-straight medals at world championships in the 1500m freestyle, matching Australian distance legend Grant Hackett, who at 35 swam a relay leg in Kazan. While Hackett won every 1500m during his streak (1998-2005), Cochrane’s now three silvers (2009, 2011, 2013) and today’s bronze when combined with his two Olympic medals firmly place him among the world’s best all-time in the event.
It’s a solid end to the swim meet for the 26-year-old after a fourth-straight podium in the 800m freestyle was denied by a 10th-place finish on Tuesday. Cochrane achieved two bronze in Kazan (400m, 1500m freestyle) bringing his career worlds medal count to eight, the most all-time for a Canadian.
Emily Overholt, who took solace from her Pan Am disappointment by ‘knowing she had the swim in her’, unleashed an even faster 4:32.52 lopping a full 3.32 seconds off Tanya Hunks’ national mark from 2009.
It was a completely legitimate performance a year from Rio 2016, with Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu only a few seconds quicker in 4:30.39 to win while American Maya DiRado swam 4:31.71 for silver.
It is 17-year-old Overholt’s first medal and her first world championships.
In the debut 4x100m freestyle mixed relay on Saturday, Canada won a bronze medal with Santo Condorelli, Yuri Kisil, Chantal Van Landeghem, and Sandrine Mainville combining for a time of 3:23.59. It was a close race, the United States won with 3:23.05, while the Netherlands touched second in 3:23.10.
Four bronze medals were won by Canadian swimmers in Kazan, plus four diving medals, making it eight podiums at this edition of the FINA World Championships.
Story by Callum Ng from the Canadian Olympic Committee Website | Olympic.ca