Dominique Bouchard powers home to win the gold medal in 200m backstroke at the National trials on Friday.

Bouchard wins 200 metre backstroke at Canadian Trials

Swimmer sees lots of room for improvement with Pan Ams and Worlds ahead

Dominique Bouchard took a step forward, but there’s still room to go further.

The University of Missouri senior won the women’s 200 metre backstroke with a time of 2.09.05 at the 2015 Team Canada Trials Friday in Toronto.

Her performance was enough to qualify for not only the upcoming Pan American Games in July, but also the FINA World Championships in August.

Yet despite clocking in at just six hundredths of a second slower than her personal best, set back in February, Bouchard feels there’s room for improvement.

“I felt all right, not as good as I wanted to, the time kind of reflects that,” said Bouchard, who also won the 100 metre backstroke on Wednesday. “But, I made the team again.

The race was expected to be close, and it was. Canadian record holder Hilary Caldwell had a slim lead after 50 metres, and her and Bouchard were virtually tied after 100.

From there Bouchard managed to separate herself, and secure her second gold of the trials.

“It might just be where we are in our training right now, we tend to really always fight at these meets,” said Bouchard. “I just got lucky this time and got my hand on the wall first.”

For Caldwell, her time of 2.09.53 was well off her record of 2.06.80, set at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, netting her a bronze medal.

Like Bouchard, however, she has qualified for the Pan Ams and Worlds.

“I wanted to be a lot faster tonight, I’m not very pleased,” said Caldwell, who trains with the Pacific Sea Wolves. “I don’t know what went wrong particularly … it’s back to the drawing board a little bit.”

Coming in third was Barbara Jardin, who finished in 2.12.28. It was a big perfomance for the Montreal native, who last swam the 200 metre backstroke at the Canadian trials in 2009.