Cochrane claims 800m bronze at worlds

Ryan Cochrane won Canada’s first medal in the pool Wednesday at the FINA World Championships, taking bronze in the 800-m freestyle.

Cochrane swam the race in 7:43.70, charging down American Connor Jaeger on the final 100 metres to ensure his third straight world championships medal in the event. The 24-year-old Victoria native won silver at the 2011 worlds in Shanghai, and bronze in 2009 in Rome.

China’s Sun Yang took the gold in 7:41.36. Cochrane, who came an agonizing fourth in the 400-m freestyle Sunday, was out-touched by American Michael McBroom by 0.1 seconds for silver.

“The touches aren’t my friend this meet. It was hard getting fourth place. It’s a frustrating place to be but with a world championships anything can happen. There’s so many great competitors that in this 800 I think anybody had a chance at the podium. To know I could claw my way back onto the podium is great and we have the 1,500 to look forward to after this,” Cochrane said.

“A very, very interesting race – five guys in it all the way and it’s not that normal in the distance freestyle. It’s usually a two- or three-horse race but it was interesting – he could have been fifth,” added Randy Bennett, head coach of the national team and Cochrane’s coach at the Victoria Academy of Swimming.

“It’s great racing for him to get his hand on the wall in the third place position and be aware that he had to go in the last 100 as hard as he did, so we’ll take the medal and run with it but you always want a little bit more.”