Saanich’s Ryan Cochrane added to his world medal total with bronze in the 800-metre freestyle event at the FINA World Championships on Wednesday.
Cochrane swam the race in seven minutes and 43.7 seconds, chasing down American Connor Jaeger in the final 100 metres to ensure his third straight world championship medal in the 800m.
China’s Sun Yang won gold in 7:41.36.
Cochrane, 24, grew up in the waters of Saanich Commonwealth Place, and previoulsy won silver at the 2011 Worlds in Shanghai, bronze in 2009 in Rome, bronze in the 1,500m of the 2008 Olympics and silver in the 1,500m 2012 Olympics.
Cochrane was agonizingly close to another medal when he was fourth to touch the wall in the 400m freestyle on Sunday, yet was just 0.1 of a second away from silver.
“The touches aren’t my friend this meet,” Cochrane said in Swimming Canada’s release.
“It was hard getting fourth place. It’s a frustrating place to be but at the world championships anything can happen.”
Cochrane still has the 1,500m to look forward to for Saturday.
“(It was a) very interesting race – five guys in it all the way and it’s not that normal in the distance freestyle,” said Randy Bennett, head coach of the national team and Cochrane’s coach at the Victoria Academy of Swimming.
“It’s usually a two- or three-horse race but he could have been fifth … to be aware that he had to go as hard as he did in the last 100 metres, we’ll take the medal and run with it but you always want a little bit more.”
The medal is Canada’s fifth overall at the championships, and second in swimming. University of Victoria’s Eric Hedlin won a silver medal in the five-km open water race earlier in the two-week event, which also features water polo, diving, synchronized swimming and a newly added high diving event.
“The field is getting faster and faster and I think one of the mistakes we made (in the 800m) is playing into everybody else’s race tactics,” Cochrane said.
Cochrane will seek a third straight year of podium finishes in the 1,500m freestyle event when heats begin Saturday. He has back-to-back world championships silver medals in that event.
– With files from Swimming Canada