Aug 4, 2012 / 12:37 pm
Victoria's Ryan Cochrane followed up his 2008 Olympic bronze medal with a silver in the same event on Saturday, the men's 1500-metre freestyle.
"You know, I talked for four years about trying to win that event. I was really satisfied, though, with the way I put together this race," Cochrane said. "I know I've done the training, so I'm happy with it."
Competing on the final night of Olympic swimming in London's Aquatics Centre, he came in second in a time of 14:39.63 -- a personal best and over three seconds faster than his bronze-medal swim in Beijing.
China's Sun Yang earned gold in world-record time with about a 15-metre lead. His time of 14:31.02 beat his own record by over three seconds. Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia came in third.
The race got off to a rocky start, with Sun leaving his block before the starter rang. He seemed confused in the pool, and officials ruled that he would not be held accountable for the false start. He was allowed participate in the race.
At the 2011 World Championships, Sun became just the second swimmer to lower a world record since the banning of the high-tech, buoyant swimsuits at the beginning of 2010. Sun's new record on Saturday brought the post-ban count up to 10.
Cochrane admitted to feeling more pressure as a reigning Olympic medallist than he had expected.
"This meet was probably the hardest meet I've ever been to," he added on Saturday.
Now 23, Cochrane was Canada's only swimming medallist at the 2008 Olympic games four years ago. In the ensuing years, however, he worked as a beacon of change within Canada's swimming program, rallying his team to strive for better.
This year, Canada's Brent Hayden joined Canada's distance specialist as a podium finisher. The 100m freestyle specialist added bronze earlier in the week.
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