Strong women lead swim team to seven more medals
Update: The Canadian 4x200m freestyle relay team has now officially finished third after the US team was re-instated. (See below for more)
Canadian swimmers delivered seven medals on day two, with five from the women’s team, to bring their meet total to 13.
RECAP: Day one | Day two events: 200m free, 200m breast, 200m back, men’s 4x200m free relay
SILVER – Women’s 200m freestyle
American Allison Schmitt had it the whole way and Canada’s Emily Overholt got her hand on the wall next.
No surprise the Olympic champion from London would do what she did, winning easily in 1:56.23 and smashing the 36-year-old Pan Am record by over two seconds. Overholt, a West Vancouver 17-year-old swam a resilient 1:57.55 on the outside of her teammate Katerine Savard, who finished fourth. Placing in between the two Canadians and winning the bronze medal was Manuella Lyrio of Brazil with her time of 1:58.03.
Men’s 200m freestyle
Brazil’s Joao De Lucca surged to a gold medal and a Pan Am record of 1:46.42 with a strong second 100 metres.
Canada’s medal streak ends at seven events. The intent was there for Victoria’s Jeremy Bagshaw, who ended up on the wrong side of a very close race. He finished 7th with a time of 1:47.92 and was only three-tenths of a second but five spots behind Argentina’s silver medallist Federico Grabich. American Michael Weiss hit the touchpad one one-hundredth behind Grabich for third.
GOLD, SILVER Women’s 200m breaststroke
The first Canadian 1-2 punch on Wednesday came through as Kierra Smith and Martha McCabe won clear gold and silver.
Smith lowered her own Pan Am record from the morning, swimming a time of 2:24.38 while McCabe touched 13 one-hundredths behind, also under the record. They were both over one-and-a-half seconds ahead of American Annie Lazor in third.
“To be honest if I had to come second to anyone I wanted to come second to a Canadian,” said McCabe who after the touch urged on the red and white crowd for a few more seconds of mayhem. “I know this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I just want to absorb every single moment of it.” McCabe is a Torontonian.
It was actually McCabe in first at the final turn, “I knew it would be a really strong race and that my last 50 would have to be on point,” commented Smith, who swam the fastest final lap in the field.
SILVER Men’s 200m breaststroke
Edmonton’s Richard Funk won his first senior international medal by racing to a silver medal on Wednesday night.
He needed to be 2:11 something to be in the hunt, and in the end his 2:11.51 put him over four-tenths clear of Brazilian Olympic medallist Thiago Pereira, who was third. Thiago Simon (BRA) was victorious in 2:09.82.
It was an opportunity captured for the 22-year-old, who is now inside the world top-50. An assertive swim left little doubt he would be on the podium and as those close to the team have wondered, Funk was an example of a young Canadian seizing the moment. According to Swimming Canada tonight’s time was a personal best.
GOLD, SILVER Women’s 200m backstroke
Canadian record holder Hilary Caldwell broke the Pan Am record, her country’s second of the night, while swimming to gold in a time of 2:08.22.
North Bay’s Dominique Bouchard made it another home team 1-2 finish, her time of 2:09.74 bettered American Clara Smiddy who was third.
Canadian women have won eight of Canada’s thirteen swimming medals after day two, including five big suit champions. “It’s a progressively younger team,” said Caldwell, all-of-a-sudden a veteran at 24, “All of the events are becoming deeper and deeper…I think it’s really exciting.”
Men’s 200m backstroke
Calgary’s Russell Wood was the lone Canadian in the final and went 1:59.91 to finish in fifth place. American Sean Lehane, who broke the Pan Am record in the morning, won in a time of 1:57.47.
Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay
It got interesting after the 4x200m freestyle relay on Wednesday night.
The order at the wall was Brazil in first, USA second, followed by Canada. But then…what swimmers dread, a delay after the finish. A team had been disqualified.
Michael Weiss, an American swimmer, had tape on his left hand. According to FINA rule 10.8 this is forbidden unless approved, so the US team was disqualified. However, an appeal from USA Swimming was successful so Weiss and his teammates were re-instated, therefore the Canadians are bronze medallists in the end.