Russell Wood stood on the podium for gold following a personal best at the 2015 Canadian Swimming Trials.

Russell Wood swims third-fastest 100m backstroke in Canadian history

Calgarian wins gold at National Swim Trials

Just four days prior, Russell Wood voiced his confidence heading into the 2015 Canadian Swimming Trials to the Toronto Observer.

He delivered on it with a gold and near record-setting performance.

Wood captured the men’s 100m backstroke final with a time of 53.96, and qualified for the upcoming Pan Am Games and World Championships on Wednesday night at the Toronto Pan Am Centre.

Wood, who was followed by Markus Thormeyer (55.37) and Jeffrey Swanston (55.68), broke the 54 second mark for the first time in his career and edged fellow Canadian, Mark Tewksbury’s 1992 gold medal time of 53.98.

The winner went out in 26.45, leading the whole way and never looking back off the wall coming home.

The 21-year-old will have a busy summer, looking at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia (July 24- Aug 9) and the Pan AM Games in Toronto (July 10 – 26).

“We’ve got a training camp in Hawaii coming up so I’m going to do that,” said Wood, when reached for a poolside interview following his race.

“I really can’t wait to compete in front of the home crowd – I’m getting excited already. I’m going to train hard.”