Olympic Games, London, Day 5 Finals
Canadians swimmers were looking hot on Day 5 here in London and will hit the water at the Aquatics Centre tonight in two finals and four semi-final races.
Swimming his first individual final tonight in the blue-ribboned event the men's 100 metre freestyle is three-time Olympian and 2007 world champion Brent Hayden of Mission, B.C. He'll be challenging from lane 7 in a top field that includes Australia's James the Missile Magnussen - the fastest man in the event this year.
Canada’s women’s 4X200 freestyle relay also put in a great race in the morning to place them third going into tonight's final.
The team of Barbara Jardin of Montreal, Samantha Cheverton of Pointe-Claire, Que., Amanda Reason of Windsor, Ont., and Brittany MacLean of Etobicoke, Ont., clocked seven minutes and 50.84 seconds.
Australia leads the field in 7:49.44 followed by the U.S., in 7:50.75 - and no doubt we can expect China to be a tough contender for a medal.
In semi-final action: Julia Wilkinson of Stratford, Ont., clocked a personal best 54.16 in the women’s 100 freestyle to rank ninth overall. That bettered her previous best of 54.33 set at the 2008 Olympics.
"It’s really exciting after the disappointment in my 100 backstroke,’’ said Wilkinson. "I’m super proud that I didn’t let the 100 back crush my spirits. Now I just want to keep riding this wave."
In the men’s 200 backstroke, Tobias Oriwol of Toronto goes into the semi ranked 11th overall - his time from this morning also personal best in 1:58.06.
"I couldn’t be any happier with the performance,’’ said Oriwol. "I did a best time and now I’m off the semis. Basically every goal I was aiming for was met so I just have to do it again tonight. If I’m sharper and cleaner hopefully that’ll get me through to the final."
In the women’s 200 breaststroke, world championship bronze medallist Martha McCabe of Toronto advanced to the semis finishing in 2:26.39 for 13th place. Tera Van Beilen of Oakville, Ont., was 21st - the top-16 advanced to the semis.
"That was good, that was what I needed to do this morning," said McCabe. "Now I just have to do what I need to get into the final."
In the men’s 200 IM - the event that will see the long-awaited final showdown between US greats Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, Andrew Ford of Guelph, Ont., qualified for the semis, squeaking in for 16th place in a personal best of 2:00.28.
"Great swim, I left it all in the pool," said Ford. "My only disappointment was not going under two minutes, which was my goal. My strategy this morning was execution, attention to details and racing the people beside me."