June 11, 2015

Swimming Canada - BARCELONA, Spain - Veteran Ryan Cochrane won silver and emerging breaststroker Kierra Smith had a breakthrough bronze on a solid day for Canada on the Mare Nostrum Series.


At Barcelona, Spain, where several Canadians are also due to race on Thursday before the tour's third and final meet at Monaco this weekend, Cochrane capped off the evening by taking second in men's 400-metre freestyle. The 26-year-old two-time Olympic medallist clocked in at three minutes 48.69 seconds to reach the podium alongside Great Britain's Nicholas Grainger (3:48.29) and James Guy (3:48.83).


Cochrane was fresh off a third in 400-m freestyle at the first Mare Nostrum meet last weekend in Canet-en-Roussilon, France.


“This series of meets is all about making gains that will help us this summer,” said Cochrane, who is due to also compete in the Seven Hills meet in Rome as part of the trans-Atlantic trip.


“I'm happy to have moved this race forward from a few days ago in Canet, and ideally I can expect even better things for the rest of my races.”


Smith dueled with countrywoman Martha McCabe for the bronze in a women's 200-m breaststroke race that included world record holder Rikke Moeller-Pedersen. The dominant Dane won in 2:21.58 ahead of Japan's Kanako Watanabe (2:23.96). Smith was next at 2:24.87, with McCabe in fourth at 2:25.75.


“Being on the podium with Rikke is really special,” Smith added. “I was a little intimidated – not scared of her, but a little starstruck. It was just a really good experience. I got to talk to her after and it really reminded me of when I was younger and I would talk to Annamay [Pierse] and she would be so nice to me. That's how I wanted to be someday.


“I came here wanting to medal after coming in fourth several times, including my last opportunity in Canet [last weekend],” Smith added. “My dad texted me after the race and said, 'you should be used to coming fourth by now' with a smiley face. It felt great to get on the podium.


“After this morning in the preliminary, I felt like there were some things I could fix, like with my body position and where my hand was entering the water. I worked on it in the warmup and the warmdown. I was able to get into 2:24 [range] for only the second time.”


Richard Funk, who is also less than a month away from his first Pan Ams, was sixth in men's 100-m breaststroke after touching at 1:01.32. Funk was a hundredth of a second out of fifth.


Veteran Audrey Lacroix was seventh in women's 100-m butterfly in 59.47 seconds.


Hilary Caldwell, one of Cochrane's teammates at the High Performance Centre – Victoria, finished seventh in women's 100-m backstroke in 1:02.03. Sixteen-year-old Mary-Sophie Harvey also had a positive experience by making the B final in the same event. The Montreal-based teenager was 14th overall.


“I feel like this has been really helpful,” said Harvey, who is also competing in 200-m individual medley. “I can watch the top people and it's really exciting.”


Source : SIRC