Canadian swimmer Brent Hayden is back on the world championship podium, with an eye to repeating that success at next year's Olympics in London.
The 27-year-old from Mission, B.C., won silver Thursday in the men's 100-metre freestyle at the world swimming championships in Shanghai.
Australian James Magnussen won in what has been his first international meet. Nicknamed "The Missile" by Australian media, the 20-year-old Magnussen grabbed the lead from Brazil's Cesar Cielo after 50 metres and won in 47.63.
Hayden, the fastest man in the 100 last year, finished in 47.95 seconds. France's William Meynard was third in 48.00, relegating Cielo to fourth.
Magnussen set the fastest time in the semifinals Wednesday in 47.90.
"It feels awesome," said Hayden. "I came into these championships really hungry for a medal."
Hayden tied for gold in the 100 at the 2007 world championships. But he failed to qualify for the final of the event at the Beijing Olympics and finished fourth at the 2009 worlds.
Thursday was his first time on a world meet podium since 2007.
"This is a real medal at the world championships," coach Tom Johnson said. "So it's a building block and our work's not done. We have stuff to do tomorrow for the 50 free, but also over the course of the next year.
"I'm excited and looking forward to it but also realistic enough to realize that there's some new people out there like Magnussen who are doing a great job and we've got work to do."
The silver was Canada's fifth at the Shanghai championships. Ryan Cochrane won silver in the men's 800-metre freestyle on Wednesday. Two other medals came in diving, and one in synchronized swimming.
Hayden said he drew motivation Thursday from seeing his fiancee Nadina on live TV in the stands.
"Having my whole family and her family come all this way to watch me compete, it was just really special to be able to put down a medal performance with everyone in the stands."
Hayden is looking to get married shortly after the London Games.
"That's about the extent of our plans so far. I've got some other things I've got to focus on — like the Olympics," he said with a laugh. "I'm probably going to leave a little bit of the planning up to her."
On a busy day for Canadians at the pool, Mike Brown finished ninth in the 200-metre breaststroke semifinals.
For Brown, it was a victory. A year ago he was working full-time, with swimming behind him. Then the 27-year-old from Perth, Ont., decided to try for a third Olympics.
"To go from 20 pounds overweight sitting in a cubicle to ninth in the world in 12 months, I think that's a pretty decent job. I would have loved to be in that final, obviously top-eight was kind of a goal going into this ... In retrospect, it's not that big of a deal. One spot, one-tenth of a second."
In other Canadian action Thursday:
- Victoria Poon of Lasalle, Que., was 12th in the women's 100 freestyle.
- Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., was sixth in the women's 50-metre backstroke, setting a Canadian record.
- The Canadian women's 4x200-metre freestyle relay team was seventh, qualifying for a berth in the Olympics.
- Toronto's Tobias Oriwol was 14th in the 200-metre backstroke.
- Vancouver's Annamay Pierse was fourth and Toronto's Martha McCabe sixth going into the finals of the women's 200 breaststroke Friday.
- In men's water polo play, Canada lost 8-6 to Australia to finish 10th. Regina's Kevin Graham scored three goals in a losing cause.