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Vancouver's Tim Peterson Gains Sydney Ticket

Aug 7, 2000

Courtesy: Swimming Canada

WINNIPEG--Vancouver's Tim Peterson beat the international Olympic qualifying standard in the men's 1,500-metre freestyle to earn a ticket to the Sydney Games Sunday at the Sears I Can Swim Summer Nationals swimming competition.

Thirty-nine swimmers in total qualified for the Canadian Olympic team, 12 more than in 1996. There are 20 men and 19 women. In 1996, there were only eight men.

Peterson, a 1998 Commonwealth Games team member, placed second in the race clocking 15 minutes and 25.09 seconds to eclipse the 15:26.05 standard. It was a personal best by 11 seconds. Andrew Hurd, 17, of Toronto, who qualified at the Olympic trials in June, won the race in 15:23.25.

"I was pretty down about not making the team initially at the Olympic trials," said Peterson, a 21-year-old engineering student. "I came here not too sure what to expect. I was pretty surprised with tonight's the time. I can't believe I'm going to the Olympics.

In the women's 200 individual medley, Marianne Limpert of Fredericton claimed her third gold of the meet clocking 2:14.82, less than a half-second off her silver medal winning time at the 1996 Olympics. Canadian record holder Joanne Malar of Hamilton was second in 2:15.43 and Julia Russell of South Africa third in 2:19.23.

"I can't complain about being under 2:15 at this point in the season," said Limpert, also a gold medallist in the 50 and 100 freestyle this weekend and beating the international Olympic qualifying standard in both races.

"It was important for to get a good one in and I did. Now I need to do some fine tuning and get some rest. It's been a bit crazy for me lately with training and promotional opportunities. I need to get back into a routine and settle things down."

In the men's 100 freestyle, Craig Hutchison of Pointe-Claire, Que., already qualified for the Games in two relays earned an individual swim at the Games clocking under the international qualifying standard of 50.09 with a personal best 50.07. Canadian record holder Yannick Lupien of Aylmer, Que., was second at 50.54 and Thomas Kindler of Montreal was third at 50.70.

"I had two goals in mind at this meet'" said Hutchison. "One was to go under the qualifying standard and the other to break the Canadian record (49.94). I fell a little short on the second one but I'm still pleased. I didn't have that long a preparation period for this meet."

Other winners in men's competition included Mark Versfeld of Vancouver in the 100 backstroke and John Stamhuis of Victoria in the 200 breaststroke and for the women Jennifer Button of Waterloo, Ont., in the 100 butterfly, Jessica Deglau of Vancouver in the 200 freestyle and Kelly Stefanyshyn of Winnipeg in the 200 backstroke.

"There are a few other swimmers that could have made the team," said Canadian national team head coach Dave Johnson of Calgary. "But I'm very happy at 39. One of my objectives was to come as close as possible to fielding a full entry and we missed it by only seven swims. There's big progress and a lot of encouraging signs heading into Sydney."