Ryan Cochrane won gold and Jeremy Bagshaw posted his personal best time to take silver in the men’s 400 metre freestyle at the Canadian Swimming Trials on Friday in Toronto.
Bagshaw’s 3:49.76 kept pace with the gold medal winner throughout the race, but was unable to catch Cochrane, who posted a time of 3:47.50.
Both swimmers have qualified to represent Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games and the World Championships.
“It’s great to have a chance at another world championships,” said Cochrane, the two-time Olympic medalist, at pool side. “It’s what I always dreamed about as a kid, representing Canada and the worlds is pretty high up there.”
The Victoria, B.C. native, who will compete in the men’s 1,500 metre freestyle event on Saturday, was happy to see Bagshaw swim under 3:50 for the first time.
“I knew he really wanted to make the team and I think it’s really awesome that he gets under that barrier,” said the Canadian record holder.
“Swimming, like a lot of sports, is all about those mental barriers that you have to break through, 3:50 is one of those barriers.”
Bagshaw, who won gold in the 200 metre freestyle on Wednesday, embraces the opportunity to compete against one of the best in the world.
“I had to try to keep up with him because Ryan’s one of the best in the world,” said the Singapore born athlete, “I might as well just go out and try to race him as much as I can.”
Though a decisive underdog, the 22-year-old approaches every race with the belief he can win.
“I can’t really think about racing for second,” said Bagshaw, “that’s why I tried to keep up with him that first 300 metre and then just hold on to the end.”
Cochrane, the Canadian male swimmer of the year at the 2010 Big Splash Awards, is encouraged by the competition of the improving Canadian swimmers.
“I think it’s great,” said Cochrane, “It’s really good to have the competition, I mean, that’s what pushes you.”
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