Kier Maitland receives his gold medal after winning the Men's 800 metre freestyle at the Canada Swimming Trials

Maitland wins men’s 800 freestyle

Edmonton Keyano Swim Club member takes first gold medal of event

Kier Maitland took a huge early lead and never looked back from first turn to last as he won the men’s 800 metre final at the 2015 Canadian Swimming Trials on Wednesday night in Toronto.

The Edmonton Keyano Swim Club member posted a time of 7:59.45.

Grabbing that early jump is not usual for the 26-year-old.

“Well I’m usually someone who back-half the races, if I have any sort of a lead then, of course, I’m feeling good how the end is going to go,” said Maitland. “I’ll have to look up the splits to see how exactly it went but I have a feeling that it was fairly even split, but a very good time, very good start to the meet and gives me motivation to win more races.”

Midway through the race, with the lead for the gold pretty substantial, it was a battle for the silver and bronze medal.

Anton Oerskov Ipsen grabbed the silver with a time of 8.01.12. The 24-year-old was at the trials representing Denmark. Non-Olympic events invite athletes from other countries to compete.

Philippe Guertin took the bronze (second in Canada) with a time of 8.05.12. This morning, Guertin had a time of 8.08.37, so he wasn’t disappointed at all as the 23-year-old usually swims in open water events.

“I have open water trials in a month so this is just for fun and I knew my speed was not that good, I just tried to stay up with him as much as I could,” Guertin said. “He really has good turns and mine really aren’t that good because in open water you don’t turn.”

But for Guertin the swim trials was a turning point in proving something to himself.

“It’s good, it means my endurance is right up there,” said Guertin. “So it’s going to be good for open water trials.”