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Van Landeghem helps relay to bronze, makes final in record time

2015 FINA –

KAZAN, Russia – It was a big night for Chantal Van Landeghem and her fellow Canadian sprinters Saturday at FINA World Championships.

The Winnipeg native helped the mixed 4×100-m freestyle to a bronze medal as the event made its debut, capping her night with a second Canadian record after advancing to the women’s 50-m freestyle final earlier.

The relay team of Santo Condorelli, Yuri Kisil, Van Landeghem and Sandrine Mainville combined for a time of 3:23.59 to capture the bronze. The United States set a world record of 3:23.05, while the Netherlands took silver in 3:23.10. It was Canada’s first relay medal since 2007, when the men’s 4×200-m freestyle relay took bronze in Melbourne, Australia.

“I lost my voice screaming,” Van Landeghem said. “It was really cool and it was very special to share it with those three. They’re really great people and we’re all super proud to represent the leaf tonight.”

“I lost my voice screaming” – Chantal Van LAndeghem

Kisil, Karl Krug, Mainville and Victoria Poon had qualified the relay through in a tie for seventh in the morning heats. Van Landeghem said the team believed all the way that Canada’s second medal at these world championships was within their reach.

“We knew it was a definite possibility. It was a great field and we knew it would be tight but if we all put up great swims we could do it,” she said.

Earlier, Van Landeghem swam a 24.52 in her 50 free semifinal to best her Canadian record of 24.69 from last year’s bronze at Pan Pacific Championships. She qualified for Sunday’s final in eighth position after finding herself just 0.01 out of the Top 8 in the 100-m semifinals Thursday.

“I wanted to try to redeem myself tonight and get into my first individual final,” the 21-year-old said. “I can’t wait, it should be really fun.”

Canada had two women in the 200-m backstroke final Saturday. Dominique Bouchard of North Bay, Ont., finished sixth in 2:08.51. Hilary Caldwell of White Rock, B.C., the bronze medallist in 2013, was seventh in 2:08.66, faster than her semifinal time by 0.33. Caldwell and Bouchard won gold and silver at last month’s Pan Am Games in Toronto.

“I don’t think it was my best race of the week but it’s only my third time swimming the 200. I achieved my goal of making the final here, so I have to be happy with that,” Bouchard said. “It’s been an awesome atmosphere here, and we also had a great atmosphere at the Pan Am Games last month. It helps us as athletes a lot, and it’s a great pool, so I’m very happy with my experience.”

In other evening swims, Rachel Nicol of Lethbridge, Alta., finished 10th in the women’s 50-m breaststroke with a time of 31.04. Toronto’s Michelle Williams was 12th in the women’s 50-m freestyle in a personal best of 24.84.

The eight-day meet wraps up Sunday , with heats beginning at 2:30 a.m. ET. Morning swims to watch for Canada include Emily Overholt and Sydney Pickrem in the women’s 400-m individual medley, and both medley relays.

“Six swimmers today experienced the benefit of the relay teams winning medals, which sets them up well for tomorrow,” said Swimming Canada High Performance Director John Atkinson.

Canada’s all-time medal leader, Ryan Cochrane of the Swimming Canada High Performance Centre – Victoria, will swim the men’s 1,500-m freestyle final in the evening. Cochrane has three straight silver medals in the event, as well as Olympic silver and bronze.

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