Canadian swimmers setting national records at worlds
Canadian swimmers broke two more national records at the world aquatic championships in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, and now they have their sights set on the podium.
Brian Johns of Richmond, B.C., and Audrey Lacroix of Pont-Rouge, Que., set Canadian records in qualifying for the finals in the men's 200-metre individual medley and women's 200-metre butterfly.
Brent Hayden of Vancouver advanced to Thursday's 100-metre freestyle final.
"It's been a fun night for the Canadians," national swim coach Pierre Lafontaine told a conference call with Canadian reporters. "Probably one of our better days in international performance in many, many, many, many years."
Johns posted the fourth-fastest time in the 200 IM preliminary heats with a Canadian record of 1:59.45, the first sub two-minute time for a Canadian.That mark eclipsed the previous standard of 2:00.38 set by three-time Olympic medallist Curtis Myden of Calgaryat the 1998 Goodwill Games.
Johns had the seventh-fastest time in the semifinal in 2:00.25 to advance to Thursday's final.
"The field (for the final) is extremely deep and competitive with (Americans) Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte the (main) guys to beat," Johns said."I'll see what I can do in the finals, I think I can come top five or better."
Lacroix was the fastest qualifier in the 200-metre butterfly prelims out of lane eight, beating world record holder Jessicah Schipper of Australia and clocking a Canadian record of 2:08.12.
The timesurpassed the previous mark of 2:09.64 set by Jessica Deglau of Vancouver at the 1999 Pan Am Games. Lacroix was fourth in the semifinal in 2:08.42 to advance to Thursday's final.
'Feeling pretty good'
"Audrey was amazing," said Lafontaine. "Her last 100 was the fastest of everybody and she's feeling pretty good.For her to compose herself in two days after a disappointing 100 butterfly shows some of the character we've been trying to build with this team."
In the same event, MacKenzie Downing of Victoria was 21st in the prelims and eliminated.
Hayden was fifth in the 100-metre freestyle prelims in 49.13 and fourth in the semis in 48.79. Rick Say of Victoria was eliminated in the prelims.
Kelly Stefanyshyn of Vancouver was eliminated in the women's 50 backstroke preliminaries.
Canadian swimmers have yet to win a medal, but have set four national records.The swim team captured five medals at the 2005 worlds in Montreal.
Canada has three medals at the world championships,all silver from diving.