Annamay Pierse of Vancouver broke the world short-course swimming record in the women’s 200-metre breaststroke Saturday to conclude the 2009 Spring Nationals at the University of Toronto.
Pierse, an Olympic finalist in Beijing last summer, clocked two minutes 17.50 seconds to beat the previous world standard of 2:17.75, set by Australian Leisel Jones in November 2003. Pierse also eclipsed her Canadian record of 2:18.59 set last month at the Canadian Interuniversity Championships.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” said Pierse. “All the hard work I put in is paying off. It’s my goal to be the best in the world. I planned to get the record tonight and I really believed in myself that it could happen.”
It’s Canada’s first world-record swim since Brian Johns of Vancouver lowered the short-course mark in the 400-metre individual medley in 2002.
Five more Canadian records were lowered Saturday.
Brent Hayden of Vancouver broke the men’s 50-metre freestyle Canadian record for the third time this week, clocking 21.34 seconds. He swam 21.83 in the opening leg of the 4x50-metre freestyle relay Wednesday, then beat the record again in Saturday’s preliminaries (21.51). Matt Rose of Victoria was second in 21.88 and Joe Bartoch of London, Ont., third in 22.06.
In the men’s 200-metre individual medley, Brian Johns of Vancouver broke his five-year-old national record clocking 1:55.19. His previous best was 1:55.46 set in November 2003. Keith Beavers of Waterloo, Ont., kept pace with Johns and took the silver in 1:55.98, while Andrew Ford of Guelph, Ont., was third (2:00.05).
Savannah King of Vancouver, meanwhile, broke her second Canadian distance freestyle record this week, clocking 8:19.99 in the women’s 800-metre freestyle. That bettered the 8:23.97 mark set by Brittany Reimer of Vancouver in 2003. Tanya Hunks of Vancouver was second and Barbara Jardin of Montreal third. King beat the 1,500 freestyle Canadian record on Wednesday.
In the women’s 4x100-metre medley relay, the University of Calgary, with Katy Murdoch, Allison Long, Kirsten Weevers and Erica Morningstar, broke its Canadian record, clocking 4:03.51. Murdoch equalled her Canadian mark in the 100 backstroke leadoff leg with a time of 58.67.
In the men’s 4x100-metre medley relay, Vancouver’s UBC Dolphins (Matt Hawes, Scott Dickens, Rory Biskupski and Hayden) eclipsed the national mark, clocking 3:31.48. That bettered the 3:33.04 set by the UBC Thunderbirds last month. Hayden put his name on six Canadian records this week.
Other winners in women’s competition were Morningstar in the 200-metre IM and Victoria Poon of Montreal in the 50-metre freestyle. Other men’s winners were Ryan Cochrane of Victoria in the 1,500-metre freestyle, and Dickens in the 200-metre breaststroke.
Over the four-day competition, 25 records were beaten in 42 events.
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