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Canada's Ryan Cochrane swims to bronze

Teenager Ryan Cochrane won Canada's first Olympic swimming medal since 2000, taking bronze in the 1,500-metre freestyle Sunday in Beijing.

Canada's medal drought in the pool is over.

Teenager Ryan Cochrane won Canada's first Olympic swimming medal since 2000, taking bronze in the 1,500-metre freestyle Sunday in Beijing.

The 19-year-old from Victoria finished third in a time of 14 minutes 42.69 seconds.

Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli came on strong over the final laps to take the gold in 14:40.84, while world-record holder Grant Hackett of Australia got the silver in 14:41.53.

Fourth-place finisher Yuriy Prilukov mounted a furious campaign for the bronze over the final few laps. But the Russian was held off at the end by Cochrane, who had battled Hackett for first place for much of the race.

"I knew that [Prilukov] could catch me because he did in the 400 [freestyle]," Cochrane told CBC Sports. "I knew I just had to give my all."

It was Canada's first Olympic swimming medal since Curtis Myden captured bronze in the 400 individual medley at the 2000 Sydney Games.

The last time Canada won an Olympic medal in the 1,500 free was in 1920, when George Vernot took silver in Antwerp.

Last chance

Cochrane's bronze on the final day of swimming competition at the National Aquatics Centre was the fourth medal collected by Canada over the last two days after a seven-day drought to open the Beijing Games.

Previously, Canada's best swimming finish in Beijing had been Mike Brown's fourth-place showing in the men's 200-metre breaststroke on Thursday.

The men's 4x200 freestyle relay team, considered a medal contender, finished fifth in their race. Brent Hayden failed to qualify for the final of the 100 freestyle despite being the co-world champion in the event.

Cochrane, who briefly held an Olympic record en route to qualifying second-fastest for the 1,500 free, said he didn't feel pressed as Canada's last chance for a swimming medal in Beijing.

"I think I pressured myself more than anyone else," he said. "It's what I wanted to do. "