Cochrane nabs silver in Yang's world record swim
Victoria's Ryan Cochrane won a silver medal in the 1,500 metre freestyle at the FINA world aquatics championships in Shanghai on Sunday, with the whole field well back of Sun Yang, who broke a longstanding world record.
The Chinese swimmer eclipsed the oldest world record in the sport to win in 14 minutes, 34.14 seconds. That shaved just over 4-10ths of a second of the mark Grant Hackett set at the 2001 worlds in Fukuoka, Japan.
"He shows that he's had that much more base-work training and he can get to that world record, which is fantastic," Cochrane said. "I think it's great, especially for the distance events because everyone's been talking about this world record year after year and there's more pressure that's built up. …. He's showed amazing stroke and amazing ability."
Cochrane touched at 14:44.46. The 22-year-old won silver earlier in the competition in the 800 freestyle.
The Canadian plans to be aggressive in one of swimming's most gruelling races and believes he's among a group of "four or five" men who will challenge the world record again at the Olympics next year.
"My swim today was not really where I saw myself coming into these championships," said Cochrane. "I kind of just did what I needed to do to be second place. I think you can expect a lot more for me [in the future], especially the first half of the race.
"I think that will really change up the environment when it comes to being in London."
Gergo Kis of Hungary won silver in Sunday's race.
Yang's effort was the second world record swim at the Oriental Sports Center this week, following American Ryan Lochte's new mark in the 200 individual medley.
Canada ended the competition with four silver and three bronze medals, which includes totals from the diving competition.
"I'm hoping going in to next year that I can lead from the start and see where that takes me," said Cochrane. "I want to stay competitive in this event. I think I was in second place after the first 100 and kind of stayed there the rest of the way."
Cochrane's podium finish capped a world championships where Canadian athletes won seven medals — four of them in swimming.
He also won silver in the 800-metre freestyle while Brent Hayden of Mission, B.C., took silver in the 100 freestyle and Toronto's Martha McCabe earned bronze in the women's 200-metre breaststroke.
"I love being able to wear the Maple Leaf and represent my country, just make a name for myself on the international stage," said Cochrane. "It's been an exciting team to be part of here. We're proving that we can actually be on the podium in multiple instances.
"I think that's really good for the team going in to next year."
Two other Canadian medals came in diving, and one in synchronized swimming.
The only other action on Sunday saw the Canadian men's 4x100 medley relay finish seventh in a time of three minutes, 36.80 seconds. The Canadian team was comprised of Hayden, Montreal's Charles Francis, Joe Bartoch of London, Ont., and Scott Dickens of Ancaster, Ont.
That was good enough to qualify the country for a spot in that relay at the Olympics.
Even though Cochrane was feeling fatigued at the end of the world championships, he wasn't planning on enjoying much of a break after the competition.
"Knowing that it is less than a year to the Olympics it will probably be three or four days off and then back to work," said Cochrane. "I'm excited about that. Usually you dread going back to the pool after a couple weeks off when you put on a bit of weight.
"I'm excited to just better where I have been at this part of the season and hopefully take the whole year to improve that position."
With files from The Associated Press