July 2, 2011
WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
Canadian Olympic hopeful Caroline Kuczynski of the South Florida Aquatic Club swam back-to-back career-best times and just missed a medal Saturday night at the Canada Cup in Quebec.
Kuczynski finished fourth in the 50-meter butterfly in a career-best 27.32, bettering her previous best of 27.61, third fastest time in morning prelims.
Canadian Katerine Savard won the butterfly event in a national record time of 26.49. The previous record was 26.71 set by Victoria Poon in 2009.
Kuczynski tweeted after morning prelims “pretty excited” about her time.
After finals, she tweeted, “decent fly at finals, not such a great race, bad touch, but the time was good, fourth place though, pissed about that.”
It was also hard to figure out whether she was more excited about her time or getting a great photo taken with Michael Phelps, who is also competing in the meet to fine tune for the upcoming world championships in China.
“But to make things better, I saw PhelpsTheFish swim his 200 free and got a picture. He’s my herooo.”
Kuczynski, 20, and Phelps will compete in the 100-meter butterfly on Sunday.
Phelps, who turned 26 on Thursday, won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:47.46. Phelps led from start to finish. Phelps is the former world record holder (1:42.92) and Olympic gold medalist in the event.
“I didn’t feel like I could really step on it the first hundred,” Phelps said. “I felt kind of weird. I usually have easy speed the first hundred, that bit of the race is a bit smoother for me. I tried to step on it and I just didn’t have it. Hopefully, it’s something we can fix.”
The meet, being held at the Olympic Pool in front of 1,500 fans, one of the world’s fastest pools, is being used as a tuneup for the World Aquatic Championships that begin July 16 in Shanghai which itself is a huge test heading into the 2012 London Olympics.
Other winners in the men’s competition were Scott Dickens of Canada in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.72 and Matt Hawes of Canada in the 100-meter backstroke in 55.73. Chris Brady won the 50-meter butterfly in 23.81.
On the women’s side, Canadian Tera Van Beilen finished first in the 100-meter breaststroke. Julia Wilkinson won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:00.33. Barbara Jardin won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:59.01.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org