MONTREAL – Katerine Savard of Quebec City grabbed the headlines again Saturday evening posting a Canadian record in the women’s 50-metre butterfly at the Canada Cup swimming competition.
After a personal best time in the 200 fly on Friday, the 18-year-old Savard clocked 26.40 seconds for the victory in the 50 fly and lowered the previous national mark of 26.71 set by Victoria Poon of Montreal in 2009.
Savard is one of several Canadian world championship team members at the competition.
‘’It gives me a lot of confidence to get the record this close to the worlds,’’ said Savard. ‘’I didn’t make any errors and I showed how hard I’ve been working on my starts. I’m in the midst of training right now so I didn’t expect these kinds of times this weekend. I feel I will do even better at the world championships.’’
The men’s 200 freestyle was the highlight event and American superstar Michael Phelps took the gold in 1:47.46 with compatriot Matthew Patton second in 1:49.87 and Ryan Cochrane of Victoria third in 1:50.08.
‘’I didn’t feel I really had it in the first 100,’’’ said Phelps, also tuning up for the worlds that start in two weeks in Shanghai. ‘’Usually that part of the race is a bit smoother for me. Speed has always been something easy for me to achieve and I’m also trying to get my endurance back. So this makes this a bit more challenging.’’
Cochrane, the Olympic and world championship medallist, is hoping the 200 can help his speed in the longer distances which are his specialties.
‘’It was a lot better than I thought it would be tonight,’’ said Cochrane. ‘’It’s really going to help my 400 which is also now an all out sprint. So the 200 is an event in which I have to get faster and faster. This year I’ve probably had one of the best training years in my career and I hope that will carry me to my best times at the worlds.’’
In the women’s 200 freestyle, Barbara Jardin of Montreal came within 0.03 seconds of her personal best finishing in 1:59.01. Samantha Cheverton of Pointe-Claire, Que., was second in 1:59.90 and Geneviève Saumur of Montreal third in 2:01.11
‘’That time says a lot,’’ said Jardin. ‘’At the world championships I’ll have to go a personal best to reach the semifinals. Since having an injury early this winter everything has been going really well.’’
Other winners in men’s competition included Scott Dickens of Vancouver in the 100 breaststroke and Matt Hawes of Ottawa in the 100 backstroke. For the women, other winners were Tera Van Beilen of Oakville, Ont., in the 100 breaststroke and Julia Wilkinson of Victoria in the 100 backstroke.
Competition ends Sunday.