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 Victoria’s Eric Hedlin fifth in 5K at U.S. National Open Water Swimming Championships

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CASTAIC LAKE, Calif. – Eric Hedlin of Victoria bounced back from a subpar performance in Friday’s 10 kilometre to place fifth in the men’s five kilometre event on Sunday at the U.S. Open Water Swimming Championships.

Canada fielded its team for this July’s FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest while the event was the world’s qualifier for some countries including the American and British teams.

David Heron of the U.S. took the gold in 57 minutes and 25.75 seconds. His compatriot Andrew Gemmell was second in 57:26.08 and Caleb Hughes of Britain third in 57:28.35.

Hedlin clocked 57:29.04 while Richard Weinberger of Victoria was 19th and Philippe Guertin of St-Hubert, Que., 22nd.

‘’There’s more in the tank for Eric,’’ said Swimming Canada’s distance and open water coach Mark Perry. ‘’To challenge the Americans, British and Italians, three of the powerhouses in the sport and to be that close to the front is a good result.’’

In the women’s five kilometre, the two-time defending world champion at the distance Haley Anderson of the U.S. was first in 1:01:52.23 with Rachele Bruni of Italy second in 1:01:53.81 and her compatriot Arianna Bridi third in 1:01:55.6.

Stephanie Horner of Beaconsfield, Que., was 12th, Jade DuSablon of Quebec City 20th and Breanne Siwicki of Winnipeg 22nd.

‘’Stephanie was right in the leading pack most of the way but made a tactical error that she will learn from,’’ said Perry. ‘’All our swimmers tried some different tactics and techniques we had never done before. I’m really happy with how they improved.’’

In two weeks, a Canadian senior and junior open water team will compete at the UANA Championships in the Cayman Islands. In the pool this Friday to Sunday (May 26-28) is the Mel Zajac Jr. International at the new UBC Aquatic Centre in Vancouver

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